Brief Thoughts on 9/11
I’ll never forget where I was on September 11, 2001, when the news broke that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. Then there was the horrible loss of life, and our loss of a sense of security. But now, 19 years later, I mourn something else in addition to the lives lost. I am mourning that brief sense of unity that the nation felt in the days, weeks and months following the terrorist attacks. For a brief period, we were one. When you went into stores, or walked along the streets, and you made eye contact with a fellow traveler, it did not matter the person’s age, race, or political affiliation. We were one.
The other day my dear friend was strolling across the top of the Kensico Dam in Valhalla, New York. She was wearing a face mask because of the pandemic. She was concerned about others. A big guy walked up to her and called her a “COVID c*nt”. Today if your wear a mask, or if you are concerned about climate change, or if you support Black Lives Matter, or if you question why certain firearms and ammunition are as easily obtainable as candy, or if you simply give a shit about something that is important to you, somehow you have become the enemy and you are anti-American. It is truly sad that we could not sustain that legacy of unity and brotherhood and, instead, we have fallen into horrible divisiveness that is truly an affront to all who perished that awful day 19 years ago. We have let ourselves be divided by people who benefit from those divisions. I cannot participate in that. And please don’t respond to this by pointing a finger at some other people or group or philosophy. If you need to point a finger in any direction, point it in your own. We are all responsible for how this has devolved. We are responsible for the leaders we have chosen. We are responsible for allowing others to tear us apart. We are responsible because we are “We the People”.
Let us hope that it won’t take another tragedy to bring us together. Although the fact that we are more divided than ever despite the pandemic and more than 195,000 U.S. deaths does not give me any great hope. Still, as John Lennon wrote, I can always imagine. My prayers to the dead. Let’s truly remember them and honor them by treating one another with decency and accord even if we disagree.
One World/One Love. Peace.