Community Trumps Tragedy

I was touched by the community pride in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  Museums and displays proudly and solemnly showcase the efforts of Nova Scotians when the survivors and the dead from the icy waters were brought to their shores. To this day, the graves are tenderly cared for, the ship’s treasures tenderly curated. The Titanic  disaster is as much a part of their history as September 11th is of ours.

As I wandered through the museum I wondered how we will remember on September 11, 2101. What will we do to commemorate the fallen 100 years after 9/11, and will we have learned anything from it?

We Remember. God Bless America

Tragedy’s bittersweet gift is the bringing together of community. For a moment, our lives stop. We set aside differences, we see life’s value more clearly, and we fly with the better angels of our nature. We saw this right after 9/11. We all proudly wore our US flags, we reached out, and we connected.

From a power outage in the southwestern states of the US and Mexico to Hurricane Iniki on September 11, 1992 in Hawaii, and Hurricane Andrew a few weeks earlier, to Katrina and the disasters in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, we witness human kindness, heroism, and a coming together. We heard many great stories about the bravery and community in Japan after the recent tsunami.

Occasionally I wonder if Mother Nature sends these disasters to remind us who we are; to knock it into our heads that we need community. We need each other. And no matter what our differences, at the end of the day we really are all very much alike.

The resilience of the human spirit, the need to reach out, the desire to help someone else is in all of us. In these moments of tragedy and darkness,  we remember who we are.

The miracle in this week’s blackout was the low increase in crime and the high increase in collaboration and cooperation. The miracle in September 11, 2001 was the coming together, if only for a short time, of a very divided and polarized country.

This weekend, as you commemorate 9/11, remember who we were on 9/12/01. And do something to bring back that sense of shared community. If we are able to remember who we were, we may be able to remember who we are on the 10th anniversary of that heart-stopping tragedy. Let’s pull together and create the kind of world we want for our children, grandchildren, and the children of the 22nd Century.

God Bless America,

God Bless the world.

Semper Fi

and Aloha,


©9/10/11 Beth Terry Seminars, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted with attribution and notification.

Blessings on all who lost loved ones in the 9/1101 tragedy; Thank you to all First Responders, to our Armed Forces, to our Medical Community, and to all who are working to pull our communities together.

About Beth Terry

Beth Terry, CSP, is a speaker, coach, writer and cowgirl. Her audiences are from around the world: she has spoken to almost half a million people in 6 countries. Her passion is watching the "popcorn popper" go off in people's heads when they 'get it.'

One Reply to “Community Trumps Tragedy”

  1. Nice post, Beth. Communities do rise to the occasion when crises occur. The community of Gander, Newfoundland also falls within this category. They took in stranded travelers the week of 9-11, many into their homes while they waited until flights from overseas could use U.S. air space again. They are unsung heroes.

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