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Patriot Day – 3 Lessons for All Patriots

September 11th was first proposed as a national holiday on October 25th, 2001, only 44 days after the 9/11 terrorist attack that profoundly changed our nation. September 11, 2002 was the first Patriot Day. On Patriot day it is customary to fly US flags at half-staff and to display them at citizen's homes. There is also a customary moment of silence to be observed at 8:46am, the time the first plane struct the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

flags on patriot day

Plenty has been written about potential conspiracies and Government cover ups. My purpose today is to focus on some of the most foundational lessons I learned that day and the need to keep them fresh in our minds.

Irrational People Can't Be Reasoned With

Often in risk reduction industries we think of criminals as rational humans who make calculated decisions. While this is true about a lot of bad people, the scariest threats are those people who are not rational. They make decisions not based on any sort of logical conclusion or outcome but based on emotion. Often these emotions are born out of mental illness or poisoned hate. These people can't be reasoned or negotiated with. Further, these people spread hate to others.

We Are Stronger When We Are United

Leaving aside the heavily debated decisions of the presidency and congress to go to war and stay at war; what become very clear is that our country can achieve great things when we are united in a cause. That night members of Congress gathered on the Capitol steps to sing “God Bless America.” That day Congress passed a $40 billion emergency appropriations bill that day… unanimously. The stars and stripes became an even stronger symbol than ever before of an attitude of greatness and strength. That symbol still brings us together and reminds us that we are stronger when we serve and help each other.

Disaster Can Strike Anytime and Anywhere

While events that cause as much death as the 9/11 attacks did are rare, disaster can strike anyone. We would love to think that in our advanced society and industrious nation we are immune from tragedy of that proportion the truth is that we are not. Natural disasters like Katrina, terrorist attacks like 9/11, and internal hate and sickness like the Oklahoma City bomber or the Newtown shooting remind us that anyone of us could be just moments away from great tragedy. As individuals we can prepare ourselves in a way that we are more likely to be able to respond quickly and appropriately but we can't always avoid it entirely.

 

What are your thoughts? What did you learn that day? Please share by leaving a comment below.

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25 Responses to Patriot Day – 3 Lessons for All Patriots

  1. Judy Vandergrift September 11, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    I learned September 11, 2002 was the first Patriot Day. I learned that night members of Congress gathered on the Capitol steps to sing “God Bless America.” That day Congress passed a $40 billion emergency appropriations bill that day… unanimously. The stars and stripes became an even stronger symbol than ever before of an attitude of greatness and strength.

    While not new, but it reminded us that anyone of us could be just moments away from great tragedy. As individuals we can prepare ourselves in a way that we are more likely to be able to respond quickly and appropriately but we can’t always avoid it entirely.

    As always – we are best United – One Nation Under God!

  2. Gordon Knapp September 11, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    I wish to take this opportunity to mention that even though many of us disagree with President Obama, it is not appropriate to chastise him with hatred and foul remarks and accuse him of trying to destroy the country. Clearly this is unAmerican and totally unnecessary to attack a sitting president in this manner. In our country we decide things at the ballot box and when our leader gets elected, like him/her or not, we, as patriotic Americans need to rally behind them. For a powerful Congressman such as Mitch McConnell to start right out at the beginning of the Obama presidency with the comment that the Republicans should make it their mission to keep Obama (or any president) from getting re-elected was totally unAmerican and unpatriotic to the highest degree.

    • david September 17, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

      get off the crack. You see what the ballot box got us. NO CHANGE!!!!!!!!!

      obama is the biggest piece of garbage we have ever has as president sense i have
      been alive 60 yrs..He is a Muslim and is bent on destroying the country. Just wait and see.
      he will declare marshal law before the next elections is over.and stay in power. you talk about
      mitch mc connell what a joke.

    • 2004done September 22, 2015 at 4:22 am #

      My parents taught me decades ago, that respect must be earned, not assigned by any title. Even while causing me difficulties (especially by those who didn’t deserve respect), I have found it sound advice.

    • Leo 6 September 22, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      What you are failing to mention or are ignoring is that during the 1st meeting between the president and the Congressional leaders, Majority and Minority, Berry ol’ boy said words to the effect that the minority had no chair at the table and that elections have consequences. His remarks set the tone of his administration. Remember he was suppose to be the candidate who unites the country not divided it as he has most certainly has done..

  3. Francois A Rook September 11, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    after all that has happen to America, why is our government dealing with terrorist, this it because we have a terrorist in the White House. Or is it that ( WE ) put the wrong people in government. Who is at fault. ( WE ) are. May god help us, since we can’t help ourselves.

    • Gordon Knapp September 11, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      This is what I am talking about.

      • Dynamicdave September 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

        So you think he shouldn’t be chastised for a horrible Iran deal? You think he shouldn’t be chastised for trying to destroy the Second Amendment and take the guns from law abiding citizens? You think he shouldn’t be chastised for tearing down the fabric of Christianity by allowing homosexuals and atheist to have more say than the Christians, which is what this country was founded upon? You’re right, Obama isn’t the problem. It’s people like you who voted for him that are.

        • Gandydancer September 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

          Well said Dynamicdave. When the truth hurts people start to make up lies to suit their needs. obuma is destroying this great country from within. Anyone who can’t see that has their eyes closed or are just plain stupid.

    • Jerry September 12, 2015 at 7:29 am #

      Gordon, that is what I call appeasement. You have to remember that Obama was voted on fraudulently and against the Constitution which use to be sacred. Constitution now does exists on the paper only. He was put on the president’s chair by foreign money and during his term he damaged the country politically, economically and militarily. In the normally function judicial system he would be prosecuted long time ago. So the system of Republic, check and balances already collapsed. So you tell me how you can support such a traitor as president?

      • Gordon Knapp September 12, 2015 at 11:13 am #

        Jerry, I’d like to know where you are getting all this from. Yes, Obama has made some stupid mistakes but so did other such as Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush but nobody accused them of trying to destroy the country. Getting into Iraq was probably the greatest mistake in our history because it drained the economy by trillions and many fine young men died unnecessarily. We wifi be paying for that far into the future and Bush couldn’t wait to get out and leave the mess for the next president. This one event could eventually bring our country down. Maybe the color of Obama’s skin has something to do with things.

        • Dynamicdave September 17, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

          Gordon. I was in Iraq for a good amount of time. To tell us that we had no business there is funny. Tell that to the hundred thousand Kurdish who are trying to escape Saddam and were freezing to death in the Turkish mountains. Tell that to the 400 children who died each day for the 1st two weeks, of starvation because we were trying to get them fed before they died. Look those people in the eye and tell them that it’s not your problem that they try to fight Saddam and that you don’t care if they die or not and then walk away from those children. Yeah, Gordon, tell us about it. I don’t know why you think we were there, but I know why I was there. De oppresso liber.

  4. Gordon Knapp September 11, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    I wish to take this opportunity to mention that even though many of us disagree with President Obama, it is not appropriate to chastise him with hatred and foul remarks and accuse him of trying to destroy the country. Clearly this is unAmerican and totally unnecessary to attack a sitting president in this manner. In our country we decide things at the ballot box and when our leader gets elected, like him/her or not, we, as patriotic Americans need to rally behind them. For a powerful Congressman such as Mitch McConnell to start right out at the beginning of the Obama presidency with the comment that the Republicans should make it their mission to keep Obama (or any president) from getting re-elected was totally unAmerican and unpatriotic to the highest degree. It is mindless hatred such as this that causes anarchy and dissension among our citizens.

    • 2004done September 22, 2015 at 4:27 am #

      Gordon Knapp: My parents taught me decades ago, that respect must be earned, not assigned by any title. Even while causing me difficulties (especially by those who didn’t deserve respect), I have found it sound advice.

  5. Gene September 11, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    Mr. Paulson,

    May I say your presentation was very well thought out and extremely well presented. This morning I had the opportunity of seeing a couple of acquaintances , where I posed the question? Where were you fourteen years ago today and we each etched an answer. One said we were reaching out in unity to try to comfort each other from the shocking visions we had just witnessed, another said we had found a common ground with those around us. Upon leaving these people I couldn’t help but to think it seems as though that common ground is slipping away. To which I pondered in agreement with the slipping away of the common ground, I quickly proffered that we have gone from a ‘Cohesive relationship to Chaos’.

    • Jacob Paulsen September 11, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      Yes it is sad that we seem to need tragedy to unite us. We seem to be poor at finding common ground and having reasonable conversations that include as much listening as talking. But I still have hope!

  6. JERRY BURNITT September 11, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    I agree we should not critize a sitting president < however when a sitting president has sold out the country we love so much ( willing to die for ) it is hard not to .are we aware isis has training camos right here in AMERICA and our goverment is doing nothing about it . well that is wrong , our goverment is trying to bring thousands more of them here. What are we to do ?

  7. Ric September 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    I understand that there are forces out there bent on the distruction of our country and I also understand that it is the duty of all Americans to stand together aginst these forces no matter the cost! However I also see that it could be almost impossible to succeed if our own goverment is aginst us.The united states is a great country but it is being destroyed , terrorists from outher countrys as well as terrorist who live with in our country, goverment officals who lie to the people and mske deals with their own best intrest in mind instead of the people they were elected to protect. You can say the our President is good or bad , But so we are clear at this point he has not stood up for us a s he should!
    That being said, We the people need to stand together aginst all threats to our way of life.

  8. Jim Goins September 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    I learned that 9-11 is a national holiday and it should be – to refresh and remind us of how quickly the terrorists can strike, we must always remain alert because our do-little Gov’t is not
    the complete answer, Gov’t can not protect everyone at all times. Good job Jacob, keep up the good work.

  9. tom September 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    Mr. Paulson,
    What I have learned from that day is that we can be a United and Strong country if we only Learn from what history teaches us but as I see from some of these comments some have learned nothing. As for a sitting President one such as we have now who is as corrupt as anyone can be, who brings, trains and finances these radicals knowing what their intent is as that day should have taught us why hasn’t he and the majority of our current sitting congress been removed from office as we did to Mr. Nixon and what he did is Pale in compared to what our elected servants have done to this country and the racial separation and hate they have instilled on the American people.
    GOD Bless and help AMERICA..

    • Gordon Knapp September 11, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

      Trains and finances radicals? Did I miss something somewhere? Where’s the proof? If that were so, he would be immediately impeached.

  10. Steven Beckstead September 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    On that day 14 years ago, I learned the evil that exists in the heart of certain people, that evil is real and could and does strike anywhere. My wife and I were preparing to fly to New York and then on to Russia and Armenia a few days after the attacks. At first the trip was a go, but then we were told we might get there, but no guarantees on if we could get home. Many were stranded overseas until things settled down. We made the trip the following June with no problems. I felt punched in the gut, sort of like I felt the day the Challenger space shuttle blew up on take-off. That hurt, but this was no accident. I started preparing myself and my family, bought my first AR-15 and started training and then teaching others to be aware and prepared to face evil wherever it appears. I fear for our country. I note we should not be speaking badly of the sitting president; how soon we forget how President Bush was attacked as weak, dumb and other terms I choose not to mention. Political leaders are selling out our security as was done before the second World War, You cannot appease evil, it must be faced and fought until it is destroyed, be it a foreign or domestic threat. I stand ready and study history to know what happened in the past and why, more importantly to avoid the same mistakes made then. This is not something to react to with out reason. Learn or fall prey to evil. Study to know what it is and where it comes from, then face and defeat it. That is what I learned on September 11.

    • Gordon Knapp September 11, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

      This is what Trump seems to be all about, crude as he is. He is a voice of strength among weaklings. I say, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it ( in the debates).

    • Gordon Knapp September 12, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      Jerry, I’d like to know where you are getting all this from. Yes, Obama has made some stupid mistakes but so did other such as Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush but nobody accused them of trying to destroy the country. Getting into Iraq was probably the greatest mistake in our history because it drained the economy by trillions and many fine young men died unnecessarily. We wifi be paying for that far into the future and Bush couldn’t wait to get out and leave the mess for the next president. This one event could eventually bring our country down. Maybe the color of Obama’s skin has something to do with things.

  11. mark fontana sr September 12, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    I learned day that we now know fear. Just like the other countries experience terror attacks on a daily bases. We find a box by it self ” IT’S A BOMB!, we see A “white substance” OMG it’s Anthrax airline terminals back up because checking every little thing some body as shampoo in a small bottle its chemical war fare ( we should have been doing these things along time ago. We’re scared of our own shadow WE thought we were invincible Our Government acts like a two way stop that should be a four way but we wait until some one gets killed and then we they ” OH ! maybe we should make it a four way stop ” arrogant,pretentious ,Government, BUT i felt such Sadness, shock, a feeling a of emptiness, helplessness as I watched people fall to their deaths,,,,,,,,,,,, i will never forget that day……….. The day we learned fear ‘

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