Thirteen Years Later

I am taking a 4-day hiatus from my blog, going camping with a special friend, and will be away from computer and from news of the outside world from Saturday, July 2nd through Tuesday, July 5th.  I have scheduled a few of my “oldies but goodies” and will see you all when i return to the real world (maybe?) on Wednesday, July 6th.  Please don’t go away … I shall return, rested and happy and ready to start ranting once again!  This one was originally posted on September 11, 2014.

This is what I posted yesterday on Facebook. I don’t often post on Facebook, as I work hard at not offending friends or family and I realize that my posts may frequently be offensive to some, but once a year, on the anniversary of 9/11, I reserve the right to post my thoughts and feelings about the event itself and how it has impacted us today:

Thirteen years ago, an event changed the lives of every person in the U.S. and many more than we will ever know outside the U.S. It has been compared to Pearl Harbor, and rightfully so, in the sense that it was an event that would, in one way or in many ways, have far-reaching and ever-lasting consequences. We all lost someone or something on that horrific morning of September 11th, 2001. Whether we knew and cared for someone who lost their lives that day or not, we still suffered a loss. Whether we were in New York City, Washington D.C. or Seattle or Dallas, we suffered a loss of some of our innocence and security. A loss in the belief that as Americans, everybody loved us and we were invulnerable to the traumas that beset other nations. A loss of the belief that we were safe in our everyday lives. All gone in just 102 minutes on an otherwise beautiful late summer day.

I wish I could say that the lessons we learned on that day have led us to be better people, more caring, kind and compassionate people. I wish I could say that we began, both as individuals and as a nation, to think in a more global sense about our roles and responsibilities in the world. I wish I could say that it made us just a little bit better, and for a short time, I believe it did. For a short time, we stopped to ask people if they were okay, we opened not only our wallets, but also our hearts to those who had suffered the most. But it didn’t last long and now, thirteen years later, there is more hatred both on an individual level and a global level than there was before that fateful day. There is less tolerance among people in this country and among nations as well. Racial tensions have escalated in the U.S., religious intolerance is at an all-time high in the U.S., and we seem to have closed both our hearts and minds to anyone who is different or believes differently than we do.

Almost 3,000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001. More than 1,000 first responders have died as a result of injuries or diseases from their efforts at the site, and the numbers continue to mount every month. Although an exact number is difficult to determine, thousands of U.S. servicemen and women have lost their lives in the resultant wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These figures do not even take into account civilians of other nations who lost their lives as a result, either direct or indirect, of 9/11. Yet at this time, global terrorism is at an all-time high, and when we most need to be unified, to stand together and try to resolve our problems together, we are fighting amongst ourselves over the immigration of children from South America, fighting over gun regulation, fighting over gay marriage, birth control, and affordable healthcare. Politics and placing blame seems to be more important than human rights and trying to learn to live in global peace and harmony. Perhaps we lost more than we ever imagined on 9/11 …. perhaps we also lost our humanity.

2 thoughts on “Thirteen Years Later

  1. Such devastation created a new norm for us. Wars were tedious– death tolls climbing by a few dozen a day. When we see something that horrible happen in the blink of an eye on the TV screen in front of us . . .something so unimaginable, we change. Death? Ehh. Violence? Ehh. Humans? Dangerous beasts. We changed all right. Only God can save us from ourselves.

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