I clearly remember where I was and what I was doing that morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A coworker told me a small plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. I quickly turned on the TV and was watching the coverage of the incident when the second plane hit 2 World Trade Center. I knew, at that moment, that it was no accident. I also knew the entire world, as I knew it, had simply ceased to exist in the span of a few short minutes.

Being a military member, I realized the implications of that day. I knew we would be at war very soon. Practically every member of our unit immediately volunteered for duty, wherever and whenever needed. The desire to come to the aid of our nation was paramount in our minds.

The unity demonstrated that day, not just at ground zero, but all across the United States, and even around the world, was a refreshing thing to observe. The horror of the attack was mitigated by the brotherhood and comradeship and that was an unexpected result. I didn’t hear or see defeat. I heard and saw a resolute nation declaring that we would recover and be better than ever!

Over the years, a new generation has been born. The memories of the falling towers, the charred Pentagon and the stories of Flight 93 have all faded into the misty past. We find ourselves, once again, a nation very much divided. I long for the days when we, as a nation, came together as one, putting aside our petty differences and being the UNITED States of America.

My hope and prayer is that we once again find that unity, and once again be “One nation, indivisible”!

Master Sgt. Jeff Kirk is a member of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard.