(DISCLAIMER: I wrote this piece last year for the 1oth anniversary of September 11th. I thought it still had great bearing today which is why I am sharing it now. Some of the political facts have changed in a year–as they should have, so just bear that in mind, I am too busy to re-write the piece now. Please understand the sentiment of the work. Also, this is StateoftheLinds opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the Hellions group)
I remember where I was when I heard a Tower was hit–as probably does everyone.
I was sleeping, as a 20 year old tends to do. I had taken a semester off from college, unwillingly, due to bad paperwork. So I was sleeping. I was woken by an insistently ringing phone and upon dragging my self out of bed I realized it was Mom on the other side calling from work urgently, but quietly telling me to get Dad and turn on the TV.
I ran into the living room and ordered Dad to turn on CNN and as he did we saw the plane hit the second tower. I don’t remember where I sat, but I do remember the stunned silence between my father and I.
I had to work later that day and I remember my Assistant Manager, wearing his American Flag tie, walking around all day with tears silently running down his face.
I remember the days, weeks, and months later–the horrifying pictures, the stories of loved ones lost. All of it heart breaking.
And yet I can’t help but think that everything that happened that day has lead to the degradation of our economic stability and despite the pledges to “Never Forget”….that we, as a whole, have forgotten. Not the events of that day, or the people who died on that day, but perhaps the spirit following that day–the unity in the face of horrifying controversy.
We speak of America as if we are this impenetrable powerhouse. We are viewed (or view ourselves) as an un-sinkable ship. On this day Al-Queida decided to take shots at this country, and then soon after we shot back. And lots of innocent people died, on both sides. It did not take that long to find Saddam Hussein–and while you will find no argument as the valididity of his evil and sadistic nature, he was not and should not have been our target. He did not have WMD, and while his crimes against humanity were great, the drive to capture him did not stem from the attack but from a son fulfilling his father’s vendetta. It would take the US almost TEN years to come across the man who ordered the attacks–and this time period is unforgivable.
I can’t help but ponder what else had happened in ten years, cause and effect of this day. That two wars (was actual “war” ever actually declared?), which seem to resemble Vietnam in it’s aimless nature and seemingly never arriving end-date. We have sent trillions of dollars to rebuild these countries and to fight terrorism while our country, the country we promised to NEVER FORGET about has slowly sunk, like another famous unsinkable ship. We hear stories of 9/11 rescue workers FORGOTTEN as they are denied health care and suffer from injuries from saving lives and rescuing the remains of those who died. Soldiers who have come home from this ‘war’ are left to deal with PTSD and injured-FORGOTTEN about after they have served the country–sent to the front lines by politicians who think more about victory then the blood of the actual men and women trying to help. And then Soldiers come home and couldn’t find jobs. Racial tensions escalated as perceptions of stereotypes over-rode good judgement. Our economy has crumbled because the Government allowed banks to make unstable loans, families are losing their houses, their jobs, the Government struggles to find money to pour into our country because TRILLIONS are sent over each year to the Middle East. It seems as if American Citizens come in second next to the oil wielding countries.
I am not saying we shouldn’t help the Afghanis and the Iraqis. If anything, I am a lover of humans…and these people were and are suffering. And yet, if we were a country that stood up and said “We are there for a humanitarian effort, no human should have to suffer as these people have” but that is rarely said by our representatives. I would make piece with my three jobs if that meant that more people in this world were being given food and shelter (as should be done in Africa). Yet, what is talked about is oil, and nuclear power, and more oil. Money over lives. The attacks of 9/11 were horrible, but our retribution seems less to me every day about the men and women who died, less about the heroes who ran into buildings or helped down a plane in a field instead of the White House, but for oil. And this makes me ANGRY. Our representatives speak about a QUARTER CENTURY in the Middle East– fifteen more years is UNACCEPTABLE! I mourn the loss of our soldiers, and growing up near Fort Drum, I know soldiers who have been to the Middle East. I will ALWAYS support the Soldiers, but I have never supported the government in this endless endeavor.
On this day of remembrance, after ten years, it is time to stop forgetting the American Citizens who can barely make it day to day. The Americans who can’t find jobs to support their families. It is time to remember that our country is suffering and actually DO something about it. We haven’t forgotten what happened at this moment in time on 9/11, but we have forgotten how to unify as a country, especially our politicians who are constantly bickering.
Our world changed drastically on this day. We still mourn. We need to discover a new resilience, a new faith, because if America continues to crumble Al-Queida will get exactly what they wanted ten years ago.