Saturday, September 11, 2010

America: land of the free and home of the brave

It has been a couple years since I commented on September 11, what it means to me and what it means to this country. I think that with all that is going on and being proposed this year, I should take the time to add my two cents to the conversation. As I sit at my friend's computer, trying to wrap my head around these feelings that I have had 9 years to try to absorb, I find that again- I am speechless. Face it- we all know that is not usual. A lack of words flowing from my head, to fingers, to computer screen. If nothing else I have an opinion, right? If nothing else I will call someone a dumbass, or talk about how their decisions will not be ok with me, my budget, my life, my neighborhood... right?
The unspeakable acts that happened on THAT day, while I was getting ready for my very first Property class in law school- those acts leave me breathless, wordless; the ability to put sentences together is gone. To watch the coverage of it in my small rented house in Lansing, Michigan, seeing soot covered faces of ordinary people searching for their loved ones, crying as they recounted their last moments with their missing person. It is almost unbearable to write about 9 years later. It is just as unbelievable, just as hurtful, and I am just as wordless as I was in 2001. May God look upon favorably and hold in his arms those affected by the attack.

What has happened in the last nine years?

As seen by current news stories... a lot has happened to America, our state of mind and our intolerance. As stated above, I hate what happened in NYC nine years ago. God forgive me, I hate the people that did it. Nine years later, I hate those people. Those specific people whose selfish act brought pain to the doorsteps of every red-blooded American- I have no love in my heart for them. Zero. But you know what warmed my heart? The sight of ALL those American flags during the weeks and months after the attack. The camaraderie that everyone picked up. I loved how, even for a half of a second, being neighborly didn't just mean that you lived and got along with the people next door. We all came together and showed a united front. I venture to say that united front is gone.

In nine years everyone has settled back into the comfortable niches that they are accustomed to. Only on days like this do we bother with each other's stories of overcoming. We are quick- a little too quick- to step on someone to get ahead. I see it every day with this crazy economy that we are living with. The hate that I feel for those who brought this pain is shared with those who feed an intolerance that has engulfed some of my fellow Americans. The friendliness has started to diminish; the helpfulness is hard to find; there are Americans that feed the flame of hatred that is beginning to eat away at our country. The camaraderie is not 100% gone... often we show it to other nations, but, as a whole, we are not showing it to your neighbors. Too often I see that personal prejudices are getting in the way. This week in the news was full of ignorant people- unfortunately. That kind of thinking gets us no where, and I am saddened that around this day of remembrance that type of hatred even made news. If you follow me on Twitter, you know exactly where I stand in reference to the mosque and the "pastor"...

As noted above, I (as an outsider, meaning I had no immediate family or friends that died in the attack) still feel the pain of September 11, 2001. I feel it like it happened yesterday- not 9 years ago. What I wish for America is that we not only remember the pain but we remember and hold tightly to the hope that we shared after the attack. Remember the determination to show why America is such a great country; the bonds that we shared with those in our neighborhood, our city, state, region. Remember the pride you felt when honoring all the first responders, that hope that gave you butterflies when you saw the firemen from your city packing up food and supplies and driving to NYC to help anyway they could. Remember those tears you cried when all news stations played the National Anthem, while panning out on New York neighborhoods with flags on every doorstep. Remember that something horrendous happened and our country banded together and got through it. Remember that it was (and is) our similar qualities that makes us a working unit and our differences that make us unstoppable. Remember. Remember. Remember.


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