Did you avoid all 9/11 references yesterday?

national_park_service_9-11_statue_of_liberty_and_wtc_fireI found myself, on the 15th anniversary of the terrible attacks on the U.S., skipping over a lot of the commemorations, not because it’s wrong to mark the day — at all — but because I’ve been more interested in grabbling with the question: Did we learn anything?

I learned there’s a lot I don’t know.

I learned that some people will seek to inflate their role post-9/11, which is, to me, as gross as gross can be.

I learned that for some people, those attacks did nothing more than reaffirm their already closely-held world view, that it’s a big, scary world and we should fear it.

But did we learn love? Did we learn understanding?



7 responses to “Did you avoid all 9/11 references yesterday?

  1. I avoided exposure to politicians. So now I’m getting caught up today. What a mess. We are so screwed. Whoever wins in November, one outcome is guaranteed: We will be totally and completely screwed. So I watched some football. Binged on a Netflix miniseries. Read sections in the Human Rights Commission report.

    I was going to avoid exposure to the usual media coverage as well, but I found an interactive presentation on CNN in the morning that sucked me in. The Day That Never Ends was put together from footage shot by firefighters, or around firefighters, during their response. All the dialogue was from firefighters. I had never seen anything like it. It was very emotional. I’m glad I watched.

    We haven’t learned a damn thing. Collectively? We don’t want to understand anything but hate and discontent. It’s The American Way.

  2. I think we learned a lot of things. Depending on who the “we” is, what was learned may differ. I can say that as we look back on 9/12, we learned it is possible to come together. Remember that day, after the horrible day, when people were extra kind and we really wanted to connect with one another? If only we could grasp on to that without having to endure a tragedy first. I do have hope.

    Some learned to fear and reacted with hate. Some experienced fear, and counteracted it with love. The first group may be loud-mouths, but the second group is growing.

    Personally, I learned a lot and I keep learning. I’ve set out to get to know people who were once foreign to me. I’ve made new friends. We’ve had respectful conversations about our religions and cultures. We dislike our common enemy – evil terrorists, dictators, and hateful people. We want the same things and more than anything, to have a safe place to raise our kids and for them to be able to go to school.

    Today, after meeting and talking with a little 6 year old Syrian boy, who has been in the US for only one month, he walked over and shook my hand, with the biggest front-toothless grin, before he skipped off. I am grateful our worlds are coming together now in a wonderful way. Good has overcome evil. Love always wins!

    When we keep doing the loving thing, I have confidence it’ll spread. I have learned so much right here, from you, DJ. Thank you for that.

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