Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Complacency Cannot Be Tolerated

I was sitting and thinking about what to write for today.  Trying to conjure up some all powerful images and move the world with my words.  

And I failed miserably.  

I have nothing spectacular to say. But, at the same time, I don't think being a firefighter's wife...with a blog, I can let today go by without having something to say.
So, while I was running around, folding laundry, talking to the polar bears, I realized my biggest concern is not al Qaeda.  It is not my plane crashing or underwear bombers.  My biggest fear is that we have forgotten. 

In the days post 9/11, we were a united nation.  


Truly, One Nation, Under God, Indivisible.  

Our flags were flying high, our trees were wrapped with yellow ribbons and we all stood outside with candles at 8pm.  

And where has that gone?

We have people fighting over nonsense and the political divide that was bridged, for a bit, is back to being a fracture the size of the Grand Canyon.  We remember - in September.  We have a day on the calendar.  But, have we forgotten that this tragic event that shook the world to her core, brought us all closer together?  
Have we forgotten how total strangers became closer than blood as the world literally came crashing down around them?

Have we forgotten that there were firefighters who survived the collapse of the first tower, only to enter the second, in a valiant effort to help whomever they could?

Have we forgotten that so many of them never came out?

We were a unified nation.  There was no color or creed.  We were Americans.

Our flags were flying.  Our families closer than ever.  Men and women rushed to serve their country and communities though the armed forces and our local community agencies.  

Now, we are fighting over budgets and whether or not that rig is necessary or if our firefighters should really get paid to eat lunch together.

Fingers are pointing and blame is being passed.

We should be reaching out and bridging those divides.  Not blaming Muslims for the bombings.  That is the same logic as the Jews killed Christ.  I have no patience for it.

We should be supporting our communities, feeding our hungry, developing bonds with our families.  

We are AMERICANS. This is September 11th.


We remember what those 343 sacrificed.  

We mourn and memorialized the 3,000+ other souls who never came home.

We thank our military for their service.

We are AMERICANS.  


We fight for those who have no voice.

We strive for all voices to be heard, even if they go against the grain.

We work to make sure that my children are treated with the same dignity and respect that every child deserves.

We are AMERICANS.

We cannot forget what we felt that day.  It is not enough to tell the story of where you were.  We all have those images.  But, now, how did it change you?  How did you work to make this a better place to raise our kids?  What still needs to be done?  How can you help?

FDR, in his declaration of war, said that Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, was a "date that will live in infamy."  It was my grandparents' 9/11.  I remember it...but have we become complacent in its memory...in its meaning?  How many young adults know anything beyond what they needed to for the two questions on their US History WW II exam and the one question on their final?  How many average Joe Americans know the story or the repercussions of that one event?  I feel like I could play the role of Jay Leno and ask random people, but it would break my heart instead of making me laugh.

September 11th changed our lives.  We must embrace that change.  We must remember that the intolerance of other religions cannot permeate into our society.  We must encourage our kids to learn about their history and that of the world they may never see.  We have to reach out to our neighbors and say hello, can I help you carry those bags in?  Don't be complacent - make a splash, because you can. 

We have to be the difference we want to see in the world. 

Be the difference.
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