I can’t write about marketing today because it’s Tuesday, September 11th. But in a way, I will be talking about a tagline of sorts—Never forget.
It wasn’t meant to be a tagline. “Never forget” was meant as a sentiment…a promise.
None of us will ever forget what happened exactly 11 years ago, when that beautiful Tuesday morning turned to horror in New York, in Washington DC, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
We’ll never forget the heroes of that day—the firefighters and all the rescuers that went into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon when everyone else was running out, the passengers on Flight 93 who decided to stop terrorists themselves, even though they knew they would not make it back alive.
But what we have forgotten is that promise we made to never forget. We weren’t promising to never forget that day. You don’t forget a day like that. We promised to never forget that we are one—one country, one people. “United we stand”—remember that?
Remember that feeling? Remember how politics, partisanship and pettiness disappeared for a little while?
“Never forget” was intended to honor all those who sacrificed that day, all those who came together that day regardless of race, religion or social stature. Our behavior toward each other changed in those days. We pulled together and helped each other out.
Other countries, even some who hated us, held moments of silence and even sang our National Anthem. There was no more clear message that this world really could be one and could act more like it if we could do one thing—never forget.
And yet here we are, 11 years later, captivated and polarized by “news” channels that spew divisive rhetoric and outright lies decorated as truth.
We watched a woman (Nancy Pelosi) be named Speaker of the House, only to proclaim “We won!” Anytime a Congressperson says “We won,” it usually means the people lose. She forgot.
We watched John Boehner take over as Speaker and show off a giant gavel he brought on his first day, promising that his goal as Speaker was to make sure President Obama was not re-elected. He forgot too.
Does that honor those we lost on September 11th?
Pretty much all of Congress, most or all politicians have clearly forgotten the promise we made that day, and many citizens got sucked in and forgot too. Sadly, divided we stand.
Today, forget everyone else for a minute. Think about the way you talk about politics, religion, homosexuality, gender, etc. Ask yourself if you have forgotten that promise.
It’s not too late to revive it you know. How do we honor those who we’ve lost? How do we learn from lessons of our past?
Come together. Put people first. Help each other, don’t tear each other down. United we should stand.
Obviously, we’re all human. We’re not going to be perfect. Just imagine a world—even if it’s just your own little world—in which you live honoring others and never forget. See what you can do to live up to that promise.
It’s not too late. Never forget.
A special thank you to all who serve—firefighters, police officers, National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard—you truly deserve more than we give.