World On Fire

To say that today is a tough day to get through would be a huge understatement.  9/11/01 was a day that was so surreal for a number of reasons, and while I won’t really go into detail recount the horrors of the day, I think Julie’s post from last year presents a very powerful and moving account that sums up many of my own feelings (You can read it HERE).

I think it’s helpful to remember all of the people who came together to lend a hand in the aftermath of the attacks.  Like most large scale tragedies, the attacks on 9/11 reminded people of how fragile our lives are. But more than that, there was a tremendous amount of goodwill expressed in words and deed not only here in the U.S., but world-wide as well.  Sadly, those feeling of compassion quickly turned to anger and revenge. Violence and blood lust replaced the better angels of our nature among many in our country and very soon after that day, the language of war pervaded the speeches from the President and all his supporters — and it really hasn’t stopped.  

There’s a lot of fatigue in the country about our conflict in Iraq (and to a lesser degree, Afghanistan), but there’s also a lot of confusion about Iraq and 9/11.  In my local paper, there’s a story about how roughly one third of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the 9/11 attacks — even though the commission to investigate the 9/11 attacks never found a connection.  People will believe what they want, but it doesn’t help when Bush and Co. keep suggesting there is a connection in speeches and media campaigns designed to keep that myth alive.

For me, I choose to remember the sense of togetherness that marked the aftermath of the tragedy.  To me, it gives me hope that sympathy, love, goodwill, and the more admirable qualities of human nature will ultimately quell (or at least keep at bay) the rage that fuels the machines of destruction. 


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