Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Did they die for naught? The day after five years later

I’m having a hard time. Yesterday was the commemoration of the anniversary of 9 / 11 five years ago. People continue to remember and mourn. That’s not so bad, but let’s move on. My friends blogged about the five years since the tragedy. It’s an outlet of thought. They share how it affected them, their lives, their thoughts. They network, we share, we bond, and many of us grow. Radio stations played patriotic songs. Mine did too. TV gave us video journals, replaying the black smoky death of that beautiful September day. And the President pontificated in his political glory attempting to, once again, make right our assault on Iraq and Sadam Hussein. History looks back, and life stops.

I fervently believe in learning from the past, relying on my upbringing and faith to get me through yesterday and today’s messes then moving forward. Our memory of that fateful September morning is one of loss, tragedy, and for many it’s the fire that renews their hatred and need for revenge. For me it was, oh gosh to steal a quote from the Bush administration, “Shock and Awe.” I am shocked at our inability to get over it, and dumb founded in awed that in the US one hand still does not talk to the other hand. In our more than two hundred years of being hated for our arrogance, wealth, and ingenuity and we have learned nothing.

Would having learned have in those two hundred years have changed the events on that crystal clear, blue, and sunny morning five years ago? I’m sure it wouldn’t have. But maybe we would have responded differently. I am Quaker, and yet I understand a government finds the need to strike back at one’s enemy on the battle ground in an effort to defend life, property, and freedoms. I do not believe in this war against terror…ism. I do understand why our President moved against the Afghanistan based Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda. Beyond that I have no keening as to why our government has turned into a bully, the self proclaimed world police, Bubba on the block.

Instead of learning about our world neighbors, our friends, and opponents we insist on being blind. We believe everyone should be like us, think like us, dress like us, worship like us, look like us, and join in our merry way of life. But is it so merry? Is our civilization so much better? Our society so polite? Yes and No! We, and not singularly, believe we can solve our problems with western thought. Middle Eastern tribes have not a western thought in their head. Millenniums of their tribal mores, norms, and rule to not allow for western thought. To be better the golden rule I live each day of my life needs to take a bit of a bender. We as a government need to learn, to understand, and not treat them as we’d wish to be treated ourselves, but as they would treat themselves and in understanding, us. We need to think tribal. It won’t happen because the western world has a bigger picture in mind that is as antiquated in their understanding of this world’s peoples as the tribes of the near, middle, and far East. I pray for us, the U.S.

So I mourn my nation that I love so much. I am silently in the minority. Appalled by this war, appalled by a President who uses the nation’s circumstances to further his own hate filled agenda, and what has become a national day of mourning to further his stance on why we went to war against Iraq. I silently listen to those who don’t understand my position and give them their five minutes to loudly exclaim theirs. I thank my friends who have offered up their blogs as an outlet to mourn the past and those who have gone before.

Try to remember that what the surface shows is not always the basis of truth. The adage “Walk a mile in their shoes” holds so much more weight than we heed.

I would like to ask you to look at your family, to love them, to listen, and to remember this maybe your last day to tell them what they mean to you. Say hello to your neighbors. Wear a smile today, wear it again tomorrow if you get that opportunity. And keep in mind that TODAY could be your last physical day on this earth, would you be leaving it with your lose ends neatly laundered? I’m not talking about your bills, your will, or the current battle with the Land Use Board of Appeals or the IRS, I’m talking about God and those about you, even those far away. Learn from 9/11 communicate, love, and validate the people in your life, the people you touch purposely and inadvertently. Share of yourself with a smile. Give of yourself with joy.

© Celebrindal 12 September 2006