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Every year around this time I remember where I was when I learned that the first plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I had just started clerking for Judges Breland Hilburn and Swan Yerger in Hinds County, Mississippi, and had only been on the job for one week, and had not even found out if I had passed the Mississippi Bar Exam.

Obviously the rest of the day seems like a blur. Several employees went home in tears, jurors who appeared for jury duty seemed unaware what was happening, this was before the days of Blackberrys and IPhones, but word spread like a brush fire.

I remember feeling miserable, terrified, and furious at the same time. I remember wanting revenge, against someone, anyone, and I didn’t care who that person, country, or region was. I remember going home early and watching the television like a zombie until I couldn’t stay awake. I remember going to work the next day, and started trying to think how I could help, what could I do? I remember feeling powerless.

Unfortunately as the years have passed, September 11th has become a political issue. Some see September 11th, and only see the war in Iraq and a military presence in the Middle East and a war for oil. Some see September 11th as a citizenship test, and that if you don’t agree with America’s action post September 11th, then somehow you are not a true American. To me, the demagoguery that surrounds September 11th, is tragic. Here was an incident that could only be compared to Pearl Harbor that somehow has become divisive as opposed to unifying moment. Hopefully as the years past, September 11th will be remembered as a day that almost 3,000 people lost their lives, based upon the acts of madmen, and America was united as one country, not two political parties.

Always remember that though Republicans and Democrats have their differences, the things that unite us, are far greater than the things that divide us. We all believe in democracy, protection of our citizens, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let us remember this in a day that will probably be politicized more than it should.

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