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We will never forget

By Holly Martin

I will never forget 12 years ago. We had special guests at the High Plains Journal offices. We were hosting the Sept. 11, 2001, AgriTalk radio program, where Mike Adams was interviewing a lifelong friend of mine, Clayton Huesman. Clayton was fresh out of college and had begun working for the Kansas Livestock Association. By coincidence, Trent Loos stopped to listen to the program live.

The news of what was happening in New York and Washington, D.C., reached us. We didn’t know what was happening, but we knew it was bad. The AgriTalk program aired live mid-morning. There was nothing we could do but go ahead. We were nearly positive no radio station anywhere had switched away from live coverage of the tragic events, but on the off chance someone was still airing AgriTalk, Mike knew we needed to go ahead and do the program.

We went through the motions. I am positive that no one in that room was completely focused on our jobs. It’s not that we weren’t all professionals, it was just that someone—we didn’t know who—had decided to threaten our country, on our home turf. And we knew we would never be the same.

I’ve never been to New York City. I don’t know people who live there. But that did not make the entire event any less real. And in the days and weeks and months that followed, our country united in a way that I had never experienced. Flags flew even—or perhaps especially—here in the Heartland. Toby Keith sang about boots and the American way.

And for people my age, who had never experienced “war,” we saw our friends and brothers and sisters of friends signing up for the military. These terrorists did not threaten our families, specifically. Many didn’t know one person who lost their lives. After all, the tragedy occurred in the city. But what spoke volumes to me was the bravery of those in small ag farming communities who heard the call to the military or to volunteer in any way they could to help.

Regardless of what happened on that day 12 years ago, I am going to choose the positive about the day: the way our country united and the way we said we would never forget. And we won’t forget. America lost too much that day.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at hmartin@hpj.com.

Date: 9/16/2013



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