ROTC Master Sergeant Mark Coates Remembers 9/11


Mrs. Constable, Adviser

Good Morning, T-Town:

As I arrived to work, I felt compelled to share my morning. Today is one day shy of the 20th memorial anniversary of 9/11.

When I awoke, I was sitting out on the patio at awaiting for the sun to rise. After a while, I looked at the clock and realized it was almost 5:45 a.m.

Exactly twenty years and a day when America was attacked.

While sitting there, I started to think how blessed I am to be where I am. As I looked towards the east, I stood having a moment of silence — like I do every year — and will again tomorrow (since that was the time tower one was struck 20 years ago). As I stood waiting the sun to rise, I was overcome by waves of emotions about what a great country we live in.

Some may argue that point with me due the pandemic, political tensions, and other things happening around the world with the United States. Thus, we are not a perfect country in any way, shape, or form.

However, we are a great country.

As a country, we are first to help others in need. With all that is going on, we still recognize that all people around the world are our brothers and sisters, unless they put up arms against us. Then, by their choice they become our enemy.

As a great nation, we join together for numerous traditions throughout the year. Whether it’s the New Year’s Ball dropping in Times Square, joining with family and friends to watch the Super Bowl, observing fireworks for Independence Day, a Thanksgiving feast, or just sitting around the TV enjoying a football game with friends and family.

We, as Americans, have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed to live in the country that we do. I personally am extremely proud to have served this great country for 27 years. As I look up at our beautiful flag, I cannot help to think of so many that gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live in this wonderful land, free to live our lives how we choose, not how someone else dictates. Our military is strong and unwavering to ensure we continue living our lives as we should, while they continuously stand guard to protect us here and abroad. They will forever have my respect, thanks and blessings.

Today, we have new heroes amongst us. The doctors and nurses that put themselves in great risk to help comfort and care for those affected by COVID-19. They, too, have my respect, thanks, and blessings. Additionally, our police and fire personnel are prepared to risk their lives for our safety daily.

Thank you sometimes does not seem enough. However, let us never forget the terror that was brought to us 20 years ago. September 11, 2001, like December 7,1941, is a day that we will live in infamy. Our hearts and prayers go to the victims and families of this dreadful attack. As they do to all the heroes who stepped up to save and protect everyone in their reach.

As I think back to this day, I am also reminded of September 12, 2001. As the sun rose and the smoke ever so slowly started to clear, America stood up once again, tall and proud. We showed our resolve. We united like never before. We were truly ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISABLE.

Flags waved everywhere throughout the cities. People helped complete strangers daily without question. Rarely was there a sign of negativity. We showed love and supported everyone amongst us. There was no road rage, shootings, and crime overall was at its lowest percentage ever. We mourned together as a nation and then we looked after our brothers and sisters everywhere.

We were united like I have never seen before. Today, we need to strive to get back to that day. Back to September 12, 2001.

Please take a moment this weekend for a moment of silence for all the victims of this tragic day, then go hug a loved one and celebrate life.

Have a great weekend, T-Town!

God Bless America

Master Sergeant Mark Coates, ROTC Teacher at Tolleson Union High School