Many students today — certainly those of high school age and younger — and even many at Appalachian State University and Wilkes Community College, were not yet born when America experienced the international terrorism that wrote nearly 3,000 death certificates from events related to the attacks on our nation Sept. 11, 2001.

It would be understandable for these young men and women, boy and girls, that those events could appear almost unbelievable and unreal.

But what might also today appear unbelievable and unreal is the feeling of national unity that arose from that day. Today, our nation feels anything but united.

But each year on 9/11 we are reminded to never forget — the day, of course, but also that we are one nation, one team. Yet, Friday’s 19th anniversary of the attacks will arrive amid a time when partisanship, fear and hate are all too common.

In 2002, Sandy Dahl, the spouse of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, reminded us that, “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

We need unity to make a comeback, and not only for a single day.

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