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Today we remember the victims of September 11, 2001, the 3,000 innocent men, women, and children who died and for all the families that were affected by this horrible tragedy. I remember the day well. Fortunately, I drove to work while listening to Bach in my car. I didn’t learn of the tragedy until arriving at work. And immediately I panicked. For I had relatives and friends in New York City and thought my brother Mike still worked at the Pentagon (Mike was still in the Army then). Fortunately, my family and friends were safe. But thousands of others were not. And the pain, anguish, and shock took months to understand and unravel. And none of us handled the day well. The feelings and emotions of that day were intense, stronger and more sudden than some of us had ever felt before.

But what happened after that day? Our country united as I had not really seen much in my lifetime. Sadly, since then much of that unity has vanished.

How can we honor these innocent victims today? By remembering any way we can. By doing things like run/walking 9.11 miles on 9/11.

Today I ran/walked 9.11 miles with Misty, our dog. We did walk the last few miles. But I was determined to find 9 USA flags on the run. I tried to only make them flags at half-staff but that was difficult and challenging. So this is a tiny compilation of my attempt to remember, to never forget, and to try to (re)capture the patriotic sense of unity that our nation felt after the events of 9/11/01.

Also, the flag compilation was somewhat inspired by the Amerithon Challenge that I am participating in: you’ll be hearing more about that here soon.

The flags were all captured using the Snapchat app and combined using the layout feature tied to Instagram. I was disappointed that one of the flags had a little double-exposure when I snapped it due to brilliant solar reflection from the sun but quickly realized that perfection is not attainable and that having one of the 9 photos a little more imperfect might reflect the chaos that we all periodically struggle with in life: not just on 9/11, but on other days as well.

So to honor the memory of the victims and their families, I offer these 9.11 miles and this patriotic display of my top 9 flags from today’s run. We remember 9/11 and we will never forget. United we Stand, Divided we Fall.