9/11 what happened to us?

Published 9:04 pm Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, we became the most patriotic nation seen in a while. Some fellow over in Louisiana, where i worked that year, said something akin to he hadn’t seen this kind of flag waving since the victories in Europe and Japan.

To a degree, this old timer was correct.

In the days that followed the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and the plane downed in the Pennsylvania field, we Americans came together. Republican. Democrat. In those early days after the tragedies, we didn’t seem to care. Being American was all that seemed to matter. We waved flags, sang songs, gathered together and talked about our nation and her safety, expressed shock and surprised and honored the heroes, who were the firefighters and police officers of New York.

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Some people thought the legacy of 9/11 would become the true words, “one nation, under God.” We evoked God as often as we evoked patriotism.

Four years after the event, Jacqueline L. Urgo of the Philadelphia Inquirer took another look at patriotism from another point of view — that of the growing numbers of the chapters of Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mayflower Society and other heritage organizations.

Now these groups usually consist of the upper class women rather than the blue collar factory workers or retired factory workers or truck farmers and other folk.

But Urgo followed a trent that showed a resurgence in patriotism led to greater interest in these clubs that limit membership to the descendants of the Pilgrims transported to America via the Mayflower, or Revolutionary War participants or even those from the Civil War era.

The story showed that some folks didn’t seek to join the heritage clubs because they were intimidated by the so-called “blue bloods” who were members most of their lives and whose mama’s mama’s mama had initiated the club in the town.

But something about that day stirred these women (and men if you count the Sons of the American Revolution) to begin probing their family histories in search of a tie that bound them to one of these groups.

Do we still have that sprit?