Over the past week, so much of the news and radio has focused on the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City that it is hard not to contemplate how times have changed in the span of just a few years. Though many people lost their lives on that day- even more have lost their lives in the fight against terrorism. We talk about never forgetting that day, but for those who lost family members it is important that they do not dwell on the past.
Terrible things happen and we must take that knowledge and do our best to rise above and appreciate the good things remaining. Our history as Americans is full of many things we are not proud of and yet we continue to strive to be a greater nation. Generations of people were impacted by our treatment of the Native Americans, Africans, Irish, Mexicans, Japanese, and many other ethnic groups. Somehow their ancestors found the strength to create a better life for themselves.
“Imagine there’s no heaven, and no religion too.” In reflection on the events of September 11th, it still amazes me that religious fanaticism is still the cause of so much destruction. Many people have been killed because of being Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or whatever their difference of opinion. It saddens me that there is not more respect for others in this world. I don’t believe that we will ever be unified in our religious beliefs, but I hope that someday we can at least learn to all respect each other.
Our ancestors are an important part of who we are today. When I think of the risks they took in the hopes that their children would have a better life it truly amazes me. They faced adversity, poverty, and fear of the unknown. My ancestors are a hodgepodge of different backgrounds: Native American, Puritans, Jewish, Irish, and who knows what else. How could I judge others for their beliefs when way back we could be connected in some way?
Lastly, I want to share something I wrote in response to the happenings of 9/11. It encapsulates the feelings I had that day.
Attack on America
Words echo on the radio as all tune in
Thoughts turn to loved ones and friends
Where are they? Are they in danger?
Frantic phone calls
Then the images burning into my memory
Flames weakening an impenetrable structure
People leaping to their death
Planes diving with murder in mind
The horror of the intent
Silent prayers repeated over and over
“Please God let it be ok”
“Please God I’m so scared”
“Please God don’t let them die”
Only silence in answer
The danger for all
Fear of more terrorism
Anger and revenge bubbling under the surface
No words to say
Calls to family
“Turn on the news”
Disbelief echoing on the phone
Everything stops as we watch
The horror replayed
Emergency personnel die
The loss of lives and loves
Fear for those still in the air
Each plane a possible bomb
Helpless to stop it
The Pentagon hit
A symbol of our government
The World Trade Center destroyed
A symbol of capitalism
Symbolism reverberating in our minds
Attack on America
Who has done this?
What will happen next?
Is it over?
I can only pray.