I remember the day well. Watching the news reports of the first plane, thinking it was a horrible accident. (I lived my life in “condition yellow” personally, but as far as thinking about attacks on our nation, I was stuck in “condition white”. So, I was not thinking terrorism as I turned off the TV and left for work…..10 minutes later, listening to the radio (Mancow in the Morning from Chicago), I realized that the US had been ATTACKED. Who/why, etc didn’t matter.
15 long minutes later, I was at work, in front of a TV, watching the entire rest of the day unfold. I told my employees: “The world as we knew it has just changed forever”. I was right, but I was also wrong.
I shall never forget the feeling of anger, and hurt, and despair as I saw those towers fall. For the nation it was, really, a pinprick. To a country as large, rich, and prosperous as the US, the loss of those towers (and, sadly, those people) was minuscule…less than a rounding error on any balance sheet. Yet it was, to many of us, a terrible blow. OUR COUNTRY HAD JUST BEEN ATTACKED.
For some of us, the world has indeed changed….forever. For many, however, it has returned to its pre-9-11 state of unconsciousness and unawareness. I am saddened that so many can forget so easily.
Is it because the typical American is as bad as the rest of the world thinks? Shallow and with an attention span only slightly longer than the beginning of the next news cycle? Or is it that they care not to face the fear that the threat brings to their world…..?
For me, there is indeed fear. Fear has never stopped me, but it is there. …But there is an overriding anger that fades the fear into the background.
Anger that there are those who are so intolerant that they will not leave us in the US alone, that they cannot live their own lives in their own ways and leave our country’s citizens to live ours in our way.
Anger that those folks would dare attack the US and its citizens. With no clear military objective except to HURT others in this country….Indiscriminately. Just because they are citizens of arguably the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
Anger that those folks would attack us just because of who we are….simply different than them.
I am also angry that there are those in our country who fail to see the reason we need to stamp out each and every cell of the attackers. Even if it means a scorched earth policy. We began the war in Afghanistan with this intent, but allowed the weak and soft souls in our government and our media to weaken that resolve, and dilute the focus of our intent. Who forced us to stop our pursuit at the Pakistan border, and allow those in that country to lie, to dissemble, to actively aid those who were our enemies because they were of the same culture as our attackers. Anger at those who, by preventing action, aided our enemies. (and make no mistake, “Radical Islam” is indeed the enemy of the US and its citizens, no matter what their culture, religion, or skin color might be). Anger that those people caused the US to fail in its pursuit of the enemies of the citizens of this country, and our way of life.
I am angry for the loss of freedom which these people have forced upon the citizens of our nation. The weakening of our freedoms….. Perhaps this is indeed their goal….I do not know.
And most of all, I am angry at many of my fellow Americans for forgetting. The attacks themselves I may be able to forgive. The failures of our government I can forgive. But I cannot forgive my countrymen who forget, or who simply fail to care. Who fail to remember…who will, if the rest of us let them, allow this to happen again.
I shall not forget. And I sincerely hope that you will not as well.