The day after
The images from September 11, 2001 are permanently etched on our national consciousness. I’ll never forget what happened, and pray that it never happens again. I’d like to propose that September 12 be the real holiday… the day we all came together. We were unified as Americans, flying flags of freedom, connected to each other’s souls in solidarity. Can we get that feeling back without suffering another disaster?
Only 9 years have passed, and it will take several generations before the wounds are completely healed. (We’re still talking about national wounds from World War II over 60 years later.) I’m still angry about what happened on September 11. I don’t blame those who lost loved ones on that day for feeling angry for the rest of their lives, but we DO have a choice in the way we express that anger. Can it be harnessed, channeled and focused on moving forward?
The war we continue to fight is the most difficult war of all. It’s not a war against uniformed troops with conventional weapons lined up along a geographic front like WW II. It’s a war against an ideology, adopted by pathological “soldiers” who apparently have nothing else to live for. What’s worse, they invoke the name of their god as they take their own lives along with the lives of innocent civilians. It is the most senseless and evil thing I can think of. Perhaps because I have so much to live for – my family, my friends and helping those who need help.
Maybe this is the key to overcoming the anger. We continue to give and help neighbors who need help – essentially, to keep being Americans. We make sure that OUR ideology of building, not tearing down, continues to thrive. This was the feeling that peaked on September 12, one day after the dark side took their shot.
Just to be clear, I am not encouraging weakness. We should continue to show strength where strength is needed. Often it is the only thing the enemy responds to. If you negotiate with terrorists you typically give power to the powerless, and they will laugh at you after you leave the table.
And since the enemy has dragged religion into this fight, I’ll take a risk and offer my opinion on that as well. My fellow Americans of all faiths… your church / synagogue / mosque / temple / other may have taught you that yours was the only “true” religion, and to go forth and “convert” the unenlightened. It makes sense from a “religion sustainability” standpoint, but it’s an unrealistic solution for the entire world.
So here’s my call to action for ALL of us. I encourage you to not just tolerate, but respect, other religions. There’s nothing wrong with supporting your own “tribe,” but can you back off a little on the world domination part? Create a purpose for your life that promotes building up, not tearing down. Look around you at the children with wide eyes and open minds. Do you really want them to grow up with distrust or hate in their hearts? It begins with you.
We came together in solidarity on September 12. Let’s come together again.