American attitudes have changed since 9/11 The anniversary of the World Trade Center coming down brought back memories of those fateful days 15 years ago. Our country, seemingly so strong and powerful, became vulnerable that morning to attacks we never imagined could be thought of, and certainly would never be carried out. Yet they were, with the result being the loss of thousands of American lives and a changing of world order, along with a realization that this enemy was different and couldn’t be fought in traditional ways.  

I remember our country coming together in the days following 9/11. The sense of pride in America and its people … a feeling that when the terrorists harmed Americans in the World Trade Center, they harmed all of us. There was a renewed sense of patriotism, and that was good. There also was great appreciation for the work done by those in public service, the firefighters and police officers New York City. They truly were heroes, and the stories of their actions going way above the normal call of duty, made us feel better. Today, all these years later, I think our country’s attitudes have changed. For example, that deep appreciation for those who work in public service has been replaced, in some instances, by skepticism. They don’t seem to be the heroes they were back then. That’s too bad, because our police and firefighters still do great work and are still heroes to many of us.  


The second major fire in less than a year gutted a block of downtown Melrose last week. Six businesses were affected by the flames, with three others on the end of the block having to deal with smoke and water damage. In addition, residents living in apartments above two of the buildings lost everything in the blaze. A call went out on social media that Thursday afternoon for supplies and clothing for those affected, and the result was an outpouring of support.  


I attended a press conference on Monday of this week that drew attention to farm safety and the launch of the Tractor Rollover Protection Program. Intended to assist farmers with the installation of roll bars on their older tractors, the program has gotten off to a good start. In fact, nearly all the funds set aside for the first year of the program have been allocated. Farming can be a dangerous occupation, and it’s good to draw attention to the subject during Farm Safety and Health Week here in Minnesota.  

Fall harvest is upon us, as the crops are turning ripe quickly. That means long days in the field for farmers, and large equipment traveling slowly on our rural roads. Be careful as we gather in the 2016 crop.


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