9/11:My perspective

I was working that morning in the library of the university I was attending. I had to be there at 7. It started as any normal working day, until one of the librarians came up and told me that a small plane had just crashed into the WTC. Now, having never been to New York, I was not totally familiar with the WTC and was not overly concerned. Until, a few minutes later she came back to tell me that another one had crashed into the other tower and one into the Pentagon. Even with my limited knowledge, I knew something was definetly weird now. After my shift, I ran back to my room, woke up my roommates and we sat there glued to the TV until both towers fell. What a horrible and gut wrenching scene to watch! The TV anchors were all speachless; I was numb. Even if just on TV, I had never before witnessed something so awesome and grotesque. The rest of the day I felt sort of dazed. I drove home to be with my parents as one my sisters was living in NYC at the time and we had not heard from her yet (thankfully, she was physically okay). Our nation watched in horror as the violence of war descended upon our civilian population for, really, the first time since the Civil War (Pearl Harbor being a military installation and the purpose of the attack was not to kill civilians).

It was this devastating event, that we all witnessed, that we all watched, that we were all affected by, that became the spring board into the War on Terrorism- a war who’s goal was to pursue the perpetrators and supporters of terrorism wherever they were. It was that slogan coupled with religious patriotism that led us to fight in Afghanistan and, eventually, Iraq. I am guilty of getting behind the warmongers at the time and crying out that we had the right to kill and to maim in the name of American justice. They messed with us and now they would experience the full fury of America’s wrath. And then, privately, I believed that God would be supportive of such a stance.

Today, my views have changed. I realize now that our government used our sympathies and angers to fight an unjust war. They used our patriotism and our belief in a God to rally us to their quest for power and control. They desecrated the lost lives of the many simply to benefit the lives of very few. And the reason it all started has been forgotten. Oh sure, on its anniversary we talk about “where we were that day” and say “God bless America” and “pray for those who are protecting our freedom” as if reliving those moments or making those statements will justify the mockery our government has made of that day and of those who died and of those who continue to die.

If we truly want to honor those who were lost that day, we would stop killing those who are doing “nothing more than going about their daily lives”(Obama) in Iraq. If we really wanted to support our troops, we would stop making them defend a freedom that can never be destroyed by nor redeemed through the barrell of a gun. And if we really wanted God to bless America, we wouldn’t just say it in reference to war.

Today, I will rejoice in a freedom that has transcended all the wars America has fought in. Today, I will pray that God will bring peace to all those touched by war. Today, I will hope that our government is listening. Today, I will look for another reason than war for God to bless America. Today, I will dedicate to honoring those who were lost. Today, I will relive my experiences of 9/11.

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