This time of year is a little tough for me to reconcile, as I am sure it is for a great many people. It wasn’t that I lost people I knew in the 9/11 tragedy back in 2001, it is that it has colored how we all think nowadays…and I wonder if it will ever change. I worry deep down about the families of the first responders to the tragedy, as health issues have cropped up long after the disaster, and one can only pray for their well-being. I worry for the generation who went into the military in that time of disaster & fear, and what prices they have paid. I worry for the new generation who were not cognizant of 9/11 when it happened or not even born…and how it will affect their lives in the future. Yes…I worry a lot, but that’s why I write. 🙂
I always seem to hear that this was the Kennedy Assassination for this generation, but I think they don’t fully understand. It isn’t a loss of innocence, it was an act designed to kill many people and not just one person. It was like Pearl Harbor was to the Great Generation before the Boomers…an unthinkable thing that brought out anger and vitriol in them. At least at that time it wasn’t aimed at civilians, but our military forces…the attacks from September 11, 2001 were aimed at civilians…something unthinkable on our home turf. In a time when the world called out to us, willing to help us, and comfort us for this tragedy, our government, instead of striving to be better individuals, lashed out with military force for years in order to not look weak, and did further damage to us. Now we’re left with 12 years of hatred, anger, frustration, and most of all, Fear…the Pandora’s Box of our time.
We forget though what was at the bottom of Pandora’s Box…Hope. Tiny, simple and enduring, Hope is there not to guide us, but to hold our hand and say…”Look America, it will be ok. We will be ok. Hold your head up and go back to your lives…you can do it.” Here we are now, 12 years later, our heads are held up and we are fighting for Privileges lost to a dark time in our country’s history. We gave up liberties out of Fear, and now we are seeing the repercussions of that…live and learn, right?
What did we gain? We gained a somewhat united society, that has further begun to divide itself. A double-edged sword swung in terror at a near invisible enemy…but now the enemy is no longer there to swing at…and the anger has to go somewhere…so we turn on each other. Now we are a nation divided among sharp political lines, at each others throats…in social media and in person. Racism, Sexism, and Xenophobia all run rampant because we forget that Hope is sitting there holding our hand asking us to stop and remember to think for a better tomorrow.
Can we Hope for a better tomorrow? We can Hope…but we have to let it drive us to care for each other…male or female…majority or minority…red or blue…atheist or religious. If we let the anger drive us apart, we will never hold the greatness this country held at one time, because now it is fleeting. I still hold the Hope in my heart that we can be better than we have been, and are currently. Do yourself a huge favor. Go talk to someone that you have been angry with…doesn’t matter what for…and make peace with them. A hug and a handshake. Move forward.
That’s what 9/11 has taught me…this world is small & fragile, with small & fragile people on it…living on a knife’s edge. We need to cling to each other…not just the same ideology, but the differences we have that can bind us together into a better Union.
Go in peace my friends…remember the past, and hope for the future.