Will It Take Another Tragedy to Unite Us? I Hope Not

Will It Take Another Tragedy to Unite Us? I Hope Not

A Lesson from 9/11

By Lana Pipkins

Recently we paused to remember September 11, 2001, a day when millions of Americans were affected.

Like many of you, it was a day that I’ll never forget.

But unlike so many of you who probably witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center on the morning news while getting ready for work, I was working 30-thousand feet in the air.

Hours earlier, I, along with my flight crew, was in Ireland when a series of events out of our control prevented us from taking off on time. Already days over schedule, a three-day trip became a 5-day trip, and we were all ready to finish our last leg to Upstate New York before heading back to our bases.

Little did we know that America as we knew it was suddenly in jeopardy and on the defense.

On that day something else happened.

Out of the ashes of death and despair was a rebirth of patriotism. An influx of young men and women enlisted in the military. Good Samaritans traveled to New York by trains, cars, buses and planes to volunteer their time.

Firefighters, policemen and other first responders from across the nation joined forces with New York’s finest to help search for those trapped in the rubble of Ground Zero. Labels died. No longer were we a country of black Americans, white Americans, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans, Asian Americans–we were all just AMERICANS!

It took a tragedy to help unite us.

Flash forward to present day, something that I never thought I’d witness is now happening. We’ve somehow time warped to 1950’s America. The America where our parents and grandparents marched, picketed, and died to make it a better place for us. The ‘murica that Donald Trump and Sarah Palin are trying to restore because they want ‘to take their country back.’

I can’t turn on the news or open a magazine (or view my Facebook timeline, for that matter) without seeing a story about a white police officer allegedly gunning down an unarmed black man.

The Second Amendment is being mocked thanks to Open Carry laws, and for months, hashtag Sandra Bland trended on social media sites.

The good news is that the Confederate flag that hung outside of the South Carolina State House came down, but not before Dylann Storm, an uneducated and misinformed twenty-one-year-old white man, opened fire and killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston. And now, the latest trend is ambushing law enforcement officers.


I don’t know.

How do we fix this?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that I want the madness to end.


Ironically, we are 10 years post Katrina–another catastrophe where Americans of all colors, ethnicities and religions came together to defy adversity.

I pray it doesn’t take another fatal tragedy to help reunite us.

What do you think?

A proud Creole with deep Southern roots, Lana has an affinity for travel, rich desserts, and good food and wine. Watch out for her lifestyle blog, Elle In Style, coming soon! In the meantime, follow her on Twitter @ElleInStyle

Follow Lana Sampa on Twitter @ElleinStyle

Follow Lana Sampa on Twitter @ElleinStyle

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