Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th

Where were you? That fateful day on this day, September 11th, has become our generations equivalent of the JFK assassination. I would think that most of us would remember where we were and what we were doing when it happened. At the time it was all so confusing. I heard about the first plane hitting on my alarm radio when I woke up for work. I got up and turned on the news. It was being reported as a horrific unexplained accident, and a more tragic one we couldn't have anticipated. It was while watching the news that morning that I saw the second plane hit. This was no accident. I still had to go into work that morning. We had a meeting we cancelled but the branch was open and we spent the day with the television on in the lobby so that we could view the events as they unfolded. There was a solidarity that existed between everyone that day I can't even explain. Everyone had the same emotion. Nothing individual at that point mattered, we were a collective unit.

I watched the Youtube clips of the attacks again yesterday. I got the same chills again as I did when it first happened. The reactions of horror from those videotaping are just as real now as then. Many men and women never got a September 12th to start their day over. It's been 9 years but this event has shaped all of us. We've watched two wars take place from the seeds of this event. Our distrust towards other religions has grown significantly. The distrust of government and our freedoms. I think there was a period of intense recklessness that I lived in not knowing where we were headed. Seeing how we could be attacked like that exposed us and made us acknowledge our surroundings more. It made us weary.

Our world has drifted from suspicion of the government and their actions to full on conspiracy throttle. The problem with conspiracy theories always for me has been you have to take the pessimistic view on the issue. It is tough to look on the bright side of a conspiracy. It's usually the darkest scenario and even the more you dive into the issue and learn it doesn't make things any easier to swallow. There is a feeling of "what can you do", a resigned hopelessness. Yet while I do believe our society and generation tends to prefer to have their minds molded by media and spoon fed their intellect, I don't believe we can live our lives in fear and distrust. That seems to go against the principles of the same people espousing the conspiracies in the first place. There has to be an equal middle right? Everything is not black and white, is it?

Time lets us look back at events differently. The way we saw things then and the way we see them now changes. The impact of it can't be forgotten though. The soldiers who continue to put their lives on the line or have suffered the affects of war. It feels weird writing about things when you are so detached from them. I have the luxury of time and distance. I did not live in New York when this happened, nor did I serve in either of the wars that took place afterwards. I did want to serve after the attacks of 9/11 and had I not owned a condo at the time there was a very good possibility I would have enlisted. My societal need for success, my possessions, kept me out. There was no draft. I had friends and co-workers that served in Iraq and heard their first hand accounts. I did not envy them, but I respected the hell out of them.

While this day is significant in the events and how we witnessed them and experienced them, the impact is still felt today. I am appreciative of the men and women who sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our country. Whose desire to serve protects us. I mourn for those who lost their lives in those buildings in New York, the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and that field in Pennsylvania. I mourn for our soldiers who died and suffered injuries and express immense gratitude towards those who continue to serve. I'm also grateful to live in a country that allows the freedom to disagree and protest without violent repercussions and that respects other religions and view points, because we first came to this country on the basis of religious freedom nearly 400 years ago.

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