September 11, 2016 by Mike Lyles
15 years ago today, on September 11, 2001, the world woke up just like any other day. Millions of people got ready for work and made their way to the office. Thousands got on planes, expecting the same result as they had gotten hundreds of times before. They depended things to be as they had been in the past.
But as we know, this was going to be a day that would be remembered forever. Thousands of innocent lives would be lost. The United States of America would be under attack. And fear would reach new heights.
The world was glued to their televisions for days. We wanted to understand why such acts would be undertaken, and how such evil could exist on this planet.
Whether you’re in America or another country, I’m sure you will always remember where you were when the news came that terrorism was taking place, and that lives were being lost. You will always remember how it made you feel. And everyone will remember the phrase that was born of this event “We will NEVER forget“.
It is now 2016. So many things are happening everywhere we turn. We have a political debate between two candidates in which many American’s are struggling to decide why EITHER should be the next president. We have fighting and debates occurring in multiple circles. We see people all over the world turning to social media to tell the whole world how they feel about EVERY situation that occurs. Social media has become very “UN-SOCIAL”.
I’ve kept my silence as others have stood their position. I have remained tight lipped as many friends and social media connections have gone out of their way to show their support of one side or the other of a topic of debate. I’ve watched as the world abuses their freedom of speech by talking far too much about their stand on things.
On this day, I’m anxious to see the stand of those that make a significant influence in the world. I’m talking about famous actors, speakers, authors, and professional athletes. All over the world, fans are watching. Some are emulating and supporting their favorites. Some are embarrassed by them. Some are unsure how to react and/or respond.
I’m not here to judge anyone who takes EITHER side of a debate, a discussion, a political party, or a problem that we face. I’m looking at the facts at face value. My challenge to the NFL Quarterback that feels he will sit through the American National Anthem to show his protest for all the wrong in the world is this – “Sir, you are symbolizing your take on the events that are ruining this country and the world. YOU are SITTING DOWN and not taking a STAND”. Honestly, it needs to be said. I don’t make tens of millions of dollars in salary. I don’t have a platform to stand on to address millions. My challenge to this arrogant athlete would be that I don’t see him spending one penny of his extravagant salary to teach awareness to the next generation. I don’t see him spending one penny to fund activities that could bring change in the world. This is because he is SITTING DOWN. He’s out to make a scene for something he has much more power and ability to influence. I don’t buy it, and I never will. I’m embarrassed for him. I’m embarrassed for the National Football League, and I’m embarrassed for the media and for America to let someone with such a tiny percent of compassion have so much power and authority.
Let us go back to our promise and commitment in 2001. Let us “Never Forget” what we have gone through as a country, and as a WORLD. Let us never forget that there is almost ALWAYS something more that we can do to create change for any situation we do not like.
Sitting down is not the answer.