On this day, I do not want to fight in the arena of politics. I do not wish to compete in the forum of ideas or want to try to convince one why another is right or wrong. On this day I am not a conservative, Republican, liberal, Democrat or independent. I am an American. An American scarred by the most tragic day in history, September 11th, 2001.
I woke up on that day in total confusion. Was I having a bad dream? Was this happening here? Was this a bad television dramitization?
It took only a matter of minutes to realize that this was real. My country was under attack. An airplane crashed into one of the Twin Towers. Then another plane hit the other tower. People were being slaughtered and events were still unfolding. Bridges were being closed. Airports were shutting down. The city I grew up, lived and worked in was being closed off and the Twin Towers were in flames.
Various reports came in informing us of possible incidents all over the place including Washington, D.C.. Then another attack was confirmed. The Pentagon exploded and reports of another plane being hijacked were fueling even more fears. Images of people helping to bring casualties out of the Pentagon started to flood the airwaves but they were soon replaced by another still unfolding event in this day of terror. The first tower struck by a passenger jet came crumbling down. My mind did not allow me to register this image properly. I swore the falling rubble and smoke was simply a part of the buildings coming down. I thought to myself what a horrible symbol it will be when we look and see that gaping hole in that tower. When the smoke literally cleared, it was easy to see that there was no gaping hole. The tower was gone.
It was not long before the confirmation of another hijacked plane came in. But again this new development was overcome by another. In another plume of descending smoke and debris the last remaining tower of the World Trade Center came down.
Still trying to wrap my head around the disapperance of the Twin Towers, the news came that a fourth hijacked plane had gone down in Pennsylvania.
It seemed like the horrors would never stop.
Seven years later, although the horrors of that day ceased, the wounds have remained. The threats also exist and so does hatred, bigotry and all the divisivness that created the demons who were behind 9/11.
Seven years later, I still feel wounded by 9/11 but I am soothed by unity. Unity in my American community. A community of people who wish to make this world abetter place for everyone of everyt race, religion and persuasion that exists on it. And I am optimistic. Optimistic in the fact that our memory of that day provides us with the resolve and peristence to prevent it from happening again.
Today I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I am not white or Catholic. I am American and I bow my head in memory of those who perished seven years ago and those who have been lost battling against those who would carry out such acts of evil.
I do not want to debate how to best stop terrorism or what leads to it. That is for tomorrow. Today is for remeberance and respect.
Last year I prepared a video commemorating September 11th, 2001. With the exception of it mentioning “six years later”, it’s message is still pertinent seven years later.
I offer it to you in tribute to those lost and in the hope that together, we can prevent in it from happening again.