“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. “ - President George W. BushYesterday was the 10th anniversary of the day we, as a nation, gained an intimate relationship with terrorism. For the first time in 50 years, an unprovoked attack was performed on US soil killing thousands. No one who was old enough to have this memory will ever forget where we were when we heard the news. We'll never forget hearing the terrified screams as the news cameras caught the second tower being struck live. Or watching the towers fall with thousands still inside. We pulled together as a nation in tears, prayers and national pride. Yes, we knew fear. We knew fear as we had never known it before. But our unfailing pride in our country prevailed. We watched proudly as our young men signed up to protect us and were shipped off to fight for what we stand for. Freedom. Freedom to live WITHOUT fear. But then we forgot what they were fighting for. We forgot about that unity and once again became divided. I am ashamed of those who went so far in protesting this war, the war that WE DID NOT START, that people forgot the troops. The men and women who were overseas fighting for us! How dare we lessen what they were sacrificing by saying it was a pointless battle? That what they were doing wasn't worthwhile? No matter how the war was viewed, the military should never have become a part of that battle.
Yesterday I was sick. It probably contributed to how emotional I became, I don't know. I was sitting in a chair, crying, while I watched the programs dedicated to 9/11/2001. Tori was home with me and she kept coming up, touching my face, asking me why I was crying. What could I tell her? I told her, between sobs, that before she was born there were some bad people who came over and killed a lot of people. She responded by saying they were "stupid people and I hate them". Hearing her say that made me sit back and think. Were these really bad people? Hear me out for a moment. Yes, they killed thousands of Americans, and that was a despicable act. But what had they surely been taught from infancy? They had been taught to hate. These men who may have had families and children gave up EVERYTHING for this hate. What if we had never been taught anything else but that the Iraqi nation was full of devils, weren't even human, and it was our obligation to cleanse the earth of their evil? Granted, I really don't know much about their religion or what they were actually taught, but I can't imagine that an extremist would be taught anything differently. What we need to wipe from this earth is NOT people. What we need to wipe from this world is HATE. That's where all of this started! If we didn't hate each other would we still want to kill each other? My response to Tori was that we shouldn't hate them. We should never hate anyone. We need to pray for them. Yes, I said it. Pray for those who want to kill us. Pray for the souls of people who would do something this horrendous because their souls are in eternal jeopardy. We can't judge them. We don't know what kind of lives they had and what their parents taught them. All this was going around and around in my head yesterday after this conversation I'd had with my impressionable young daughter.
Then something happened. We were continuing to watch this program and when it came back from commercial they did a quick recap of what happened that day. They showed the footage of the planes, the screaming, the horror. All I could do was clap a hand over my mouth while tears streamed down my face. Then an American flag was shown on screen and my sweet and beautiful daughter started saying the Pledge of Allegiance. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." My heart swelled at that moment with pride, hope and love. That's what it's all about. I gave her a hug and we put our hands over our hearts and recited the pledge again. All of a sudden I had hope. If we can spread this love and pride in what our nation stands for, we WILL survive this. God bless America. God bless the victims of this tragedy. God bless us all.