Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget 9/11/2001

Where were you seven years ago? Most people remember where they were 9/11/2001 but do you remember where you were 9/10/2001? Most people don't. Many people changed on 9/12/2001 with the promise to never forget the horrible attacks we as a nation have suffered. Maybe you wanted to become stronger, maybe you wanted to slow down in life, change priorities, be with your family more, etc. Have you follow through with that promise?

Like most people, I remember where I was on that day. On the surface, it really isn't a big deal. I was 3,000 miles away, safe in my home getting ready for school. I was a senior that year, just turned 17 three week before. I was blissfully ignorant to national and world news. I thought it was a joke when I first saw it on TV. But when I got to school my first period history teacher played the news all through class. Same thing 2nd period. And 3rd and 4th and 5th and 6th periods. All day we watched. I was a stupid, idealistic teenager with a twisted defense mechanism and just shrugged off the whole thing. So what? It's in New York, I thought. Big deal. It doesn't affect me. But day after day we watched, a little less each day but it never completely left our lives.

Flags popped up on every car and home and shirt. There was a unity between race, gender, political party, the rich and the homeless, the average citizens and the celebrities. Kids were seen as true blessings and families helped each other when in need. We ceased thinking of each other as different, as enemies, and focused on us being Americans.

It didn't hit me until about 5 years after the horrendous attack how selfish my reaction was. This was a big deal and it did affect me. I'm ashamed of my initial reaction but can only write it off as teenage ignorance. But that role has since reversed. I am truly proud of America and love this country with my heart and soul but its the other Americans who are bickering as if it were 9/10 again. The election is is driving a stake into our unity causing havoc with race and gender, blaming the rich, while celebrities are abusing their power of fame and media to be divisive and evil. People have come completely apart at the seams. We are collapsing. We are not the same Americans we were on 9/12.

People hate the war but it is not a mistake nor is it for oil. It is for those who had to burn alive in the twin towers because a few Muslim extremists hate everything America stands for. The war is on for those who jumped out the windows of the towers so they wouldn't suffer the painful death of fire. It's for those brave, true American citizens who gave their lives to walk up several flights of stairs in attempts to save those trapped in the upper floors. It is for those who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's for those who will live on without their fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers who died for reasons beyond our comprehension as Americans. This is how we make sure our country never has to go through that again.

When I see the anti-war bumper stickers in Seattle, it makes me so angry knowing that the American people would rather bend over to our enemies-- to people who want to kill us or enslave us while exploiting our land-- than fight for what we stand for: Freedom. We have the freedom to have said bumper stickers while places like China and Russia limit internet access and flog anyone who dare go against their leaders or country. The people who attacked us, the Taliban, don't even allow women to go outside much less run for Government offices or, heck, even to be a cashier for minimum wage. The men must practice Islam and grow a beard. And Seattle liberals want to bend over to people like the Taliban? How is that "progressive?"

I hope that we can go back to the days of unity, of Americans; or at least get out of the selfish, ignorant teenage idealism of "what's best for me." I hope Americans will remember our cause. The 9/12 bumper stickers are true: United we stand, divided we fall. And if we continue to bicker and spite, we will become weaker than we already are-- and then the next set of terrorists will step in.

Never Forget.

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