Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Call Me Unpatriotic...but...

I'm sure this is one of those posts that will get a lot of angry comments, but I really don't care.

I love my country as much as anyone, probably more than a lot of people. I think the tragedy that happened 6 years ago was horrible. But I also think that people are ridiculous for wanting to turn this day into a somber, bad occasion every year from here to eternity!

I'm not saying that we need to forget what happened, but by focusing on it in major ways year after year, we are letting the terrorists win again and again. They don't even have to do another attack - we attack ourselves every year on Sept. 11th!

Three comments in particular bugged me today. One in a CNN article about the memorial ceremony today, a family member saying she was okay with the memorial being at the park - "Just so long as we continue to do something special every year, so you don't wake up and say, 'Oh, it's 9/11.'" It is my hope that we CAN get to the point where we can just wake up and say "Oh, it's 9/11." THAT is when we will have won.

Another was a man that said he still weeps every day. Its been 6 years. I know you're still sad and it was terrible, but if you have let the terrorists absolutely stop your life for 6 years straight, they have won. Don't forget your loved ones, but they wouldn't want you dwelling on the bad every day of your life either!

And the missing icing on the absent birthday cake: a family who won't celebrate their twin daughters' birthday on the day they were actually born because they were born on September 11, 2001. They don't think it is "appropriate." Congratulations, you've just handed Osama Bin Laden a huge victory - you've let him actually move the birthday of your children.

Your thought is probably that I don't understand because I haven't experienced what it is like to go through that. And to that, I say, you are wrong. On September 15th, 1999, a man opened fire in a church where all of my friends were having a youth rally. I was on my way and turned around at the last minute, one of my good friends was shot in the head and was killed and another friend was shot in the back (she survived). 6 other people died as well and 7 others were injured. The first year after, we did a memorial service for those people which was very fitting, and every year I think about them on that day. But that day is also my best friend, Maggie's daughter's birthday, and I would never dream of asking them to move Maisy's birthday so I could wallow in self-pity all day long. I would never choose to not go to work or make a big deal about it or demand that everyone join in my suffering, because that is letting Larry Gene Ashbrook's terror live on. I simply say a prayer for Justin and the others and go on with my life, because that is what they would have wanted.

Good people die in senseless acts of terror every day, whether it be in a plane crashing into a building or a child who is caught in a drive-by shooting in Dallas, TX. Remember your loved ones, but don't stop your life. If you keep ripping open the same wound year after year, it will never heal. Keep moving on and although you will always miss those people, you will be able to go through that anniversery date without dwelling on it, and you will stop the terrorists in their tracks. That is the only way that the 'Good Guys' will win.


Emily said...

First comment will be my own...sorry guys! I didn't realize how long that post was when I wrote it!

hr said...

If I hadn't gone to NYTimes.com I wouldn't have heard a single thing today about 9/11, and that's living in nyc. Now granted, I don't know anyone personally who lost anyone, but it seems like the people furthest away/least affected are often the ones who gravitate toward the drama and the national reporting feeds that...I'm talking people who live in Iowa and fear dying by terrorism, or the genius who evacuated the TCBY building in Little Rock on 9/11 & 12/01. Interesting post, great food for thought...

Daniel & Zoe's Mommy said...

I agree with you, for the most part. However I don't necessarily think that we shouldn't do something every year to commemorate and remember. I think the suffering those family members and friends endured when they lost their loved ones should not be thought of in a negative way. I believe the man who cries every day may have been talking about the fact that every day he sheds a tear for a loved one lost in the terror attacks. My Papa didn't die in a terrorist attack, but it's only been 5 years since he died and not a day goes by that I don't think of him.

When people lose their children, their parents, their siblings in such a senseless way...at least this is true for me : there is a tendency to mourn the loss not only the tangible loss of life, but the loss of their future as well. You think about all they lost, and all that those in their lives lost as well. Because it was on such a national level, such a ginormous level, if you will, because it dug at the very heart of Patriotism, that is why it's remembered.

We celebrate "Pearl Harbor Day." I'm sure if the mass media had been so prevalent back then it would have been the same thing for years. Eventually I am sure 9/11 will be relegated to the History Channel, with mentions on the news.

As for moving your childrens' birthday...I agree completely with you here : why take away something happy??? Celebrate and rejoice in life, and live.