In 2001 it was New York and now 12 years later it’s Boston. 

The New York Yankees observe a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing (Elsa/Getty Images)

Certainly not the same in terms of death and destruction but the same in other ways as once again it seems to take a tragedy to bring us together.  We mourn, pray and cry for the lives lost so innocently and hope that authorities will quickly find the person or persons guilty of this almost unspeakable horror.

We better than most feel for Bostonians because we’ve been there before and know what it’s like.  I say “we” because so many here at the Jersey Shore had direct and indirect connections to the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. One of the things you remember most about that is how the entire country came together, especially in the love and respect shown for New York City.

A note from a young Cleveland fan hangs in the visitors dugout prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Now it’s Boston and you only have to follow the sports world for proof.  Just last night at Yankee Stadium fans sang “Sweet Caroline” which is normally reserved for Fenway Park.  There were many wearing Red Sox hats or other items and remember, this is the Yankees most hated rival.   It will be interesting to see what happens when the Red Sox visit the Bronx in late May. Maybe for a few nights’ fans won’t chant “Boston Sucks” which would be a nice change.

Again only in times of tragedy do we find a way to put aside our differences and realize we are largely the same.  It was Cleveland manager Terry Francona who said it best last night before his Indians hosted his former team, the Red Sox.  “You turn on the TV and you hear right wing and left wing.  I wish there were no wings.  Just wish people would get along.”

I remember quite well the spirit that was displayed after 9/11.  We hung flags off our homes and on our cars; we showed compassion and patience and vowed to stick together.  We knew the world had changed and whatever innocence there had been was lost.  We were okay with tighter security…heck we demanded it and welcomed it.

Well what happened over time.  Flags came down, “I” replaced “we”, compassion for our fellow man faded and our patience grew thin.  We didn’t want to wait in lines to be checked at sporting events and we moaned over having to be at the airport 3 hours before our flight.  Basically we went back to pre 9/11 days or at least we wanted to.

Now the fear and horror is back and it’s a stark reminder that the new normal is anything but.