Tomorrow will be eleven years since the New York City skyline was forever changed. Unless something has changed there have been no government officials invited to speak at the memorial services in the city that never sleeps. Some say there will be no politicians because there is a raging battle going on publicly and privately over the construction and direction of the site today. Squabbling over money and dignity around the new beautiful buildings that stand tall over a site where so many Americans perished. I don’t think they should have left the space empty but I find it sad how SOME can go from flag waving Americans trying to capture the ones who wronged us to greedy politicians and business people not as concerned with reverence for the site as they are at turning it into a money-maker.
We do however have to move on as a people and a country. I just hope we do not forget. I know we won’t forget the event. We still remember Pearl Harbor but I hope we remember how it made us feel. I hope we remember the sense of country many of us felt for each other. As we delve into a dirty Presidential race there is sometimes vindictive finger-pointing. We were not pointing too many fingers shortly after 911. We paid a little more attention to our surroundings. Some bad things did happen. Some groups of Americans were unjustly treated after the events. There are lessons in that too. But mostly we all had flags in our yards. We paid close attention to our military and the sacrifices they were making. If they survived they still had to leave their families. They had to miss births and miss birthdays. Many have come back changed forever.
We move forward eleven years and we are fighting at home. Jobs are lost, businesses gone, and people on both sides of politics are nurturing the most unrealistic of propaganda. Both sides seem to be full of venom but few answers. In many ways we are being distracted. American Idol or the Voice get more play on the television than the fact that we still have men and women fighting in another country where 911 is partly or fully responsible as a catalyst. It saddens me.
Eleven years passed means that a generation has changed. My daughter was born 7 years after 911. The generation that saw Pearl Harbor probably thought that it would not be topped. Our generation may think the same about 911. What horrific event will my daughters generation or her childs generation endure? How will my daughter be taught 911 and its aftermath in school? I am still not sure what I will tell her. Will she be afraid to answer the question of who she is voting for because someone will verbally assault her as a socialist or a business person who destroyed companies? There are so many issues that it would be nearly impossible to agree with everything any single candidate believes. Simply said I worry.
I remember 911 not for what I see today but for the amazing integrity that so many showed during that time and the integrity many still show. I think of the families that have moved on after such devastating loss. I think of the firemen that fought the fires and the cops that protected the city and the paramedics who treated people. These are everyday people. I think of the families of our military. I respect what they give up. I respect the people of New York for giving the terrorist a big middle finger and moving forward. I mostly remember the pride of a group and the hope that followed. We are an amazing people and I am proud to be among them. America does still stand for something and I am confident that every building in the country falling will not change that. I do not judge because not everyone views things the same. I choose to find the good after the devastation. It is easy to remember the catalyst but more difficult to remember the resolve that rose up afterwards. They hit us with everything and we moved on.