Eight years ago today our generation experienced our own Pearl Harbor. The shock and grief that an enemy could attack our citizens on our own soil was almost too much to register. A completely unprovoked attack on civilians, including women and babies, in the middle of a huge powerful city where no one thought such a thing could happen, ripped our innocence to shreds that September morning and September will never be the same.
To me September always evoked memories of the first week of school. High school football, Jr. High kids in stiff new clothes, and kindergarteners clutching bags with Elmers glue and blunt scissors inside. And parents clutching the hand of their little ones about to leave the nest, convinced that we could always keep our loved ones safe. How little we knew.
And even here in Texas hints of the cool weather to come. From out of nowhere, a sharp cool breeze reminding you that another season was just around the corner. Soon it would be Halloween and then Thanksgiving and Christmas. Already?
But that cruel September morning ripped away the happy memories and substituted horrible images in their place. We flew flags and watched television relentlessly. Our congresspersons held hands and stood on the steps together singing America the Beautiful. There was no sacrifice our government could ask of us to right this wrong that we would not support.
I hope for just this one day, eight years later, we can put aside pettiness and reflect on the implications of that day. In addition to the respect and remembrance due the victims of this terrible injustice, try to imagine if that day had never happened.
An exercise in futility? I don't think so. Humility, maybe.
Let's cut our leaders some slack and think about the choices they had. To do their best to insure this terrible day was never repeated.
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September 11, 2001
© Janet Crain
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