The following entry was something I posted yesterday on 9/11 in my private Live Journal friends group.  I posted it with comments disabled, as I did not want to discuss those things on such a day, in order to keep the day more as a memorial.  Now that the day is over, I will be re-enabling comments on that post soon.  I also thought I’d bring the post over here.

Today I sit alone in the house while Ray is "up the island" taking a Red Cross course on "mass casualties" – or something like that.  What an ironic course to be taking on a day like today…?!  But – my alone time is causing me to think about the day and it’s meaning – but it’s also moved to where our nation is 9 years after the horrible attack – and I’m sad about it.

I don’t often get into politics here, but I suspect I’ll touch on it in this entry, because it can’t be helped.

For one, our nation surely isn’t as unified as we were during the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.  We banded together and were there for each other like no other time I can remember.  It was a testament to the human spirit as to what we could be — and really are — if we allow ourselves to be that way.

Lots of things have entered our lives since then – most notably wars (Iraq and Afghanistan), and there’s nothing like "a little war" (said tongue in cheek) to bring out the worst in us, that’s for sure.  In all fairness, it can also bring out the best in us.  I *have* seen valor, bravery and patriotism among our service people, and, as a nation, I think we are proud of them for serving their country well, and with honor.  However, this is not what I’m talking about.  It’s quite understandable that emotions will run high during wars because "someone’s son/daughter" – "someone’s wife/husband" are getting KILLED in these wars.  We don’t want them to die "in vain".  If we are not sure – as a nation – that the purposes of these wars will bring about the desired result, then conflict and division among citizens ensues.  In addition, we are also not in agreement as to what the “desired result” should be!  And, it’s my opinion that not enough of us have been sure of these things.  Whether it’s "true" or "not true" that these wars’ purpose has value, or they have accomplished their purposes, we have not been unified as a nation about them.

I also think that the actions of George Bush post 2001, then the Presidential election in 2008 and Obama Presidency have polarized us as people.  I don’t intend to take sides in that statement — only to say that this has been the result.  Red state / blue state … rich / poor … urban / rural … Christian / non-Christian … Republican / Democrat … liberal / conservative … tea party / coffee party.  Somehow in the time lapse between 2001 and now, we have stopped listening to each other with respect.  Ad hominem attacks abound, and it’s easier to call people ugly things when they have been reduced to less than "human" or a "stereotype" in one’s mind.  We can’t seem to understand others who differ from us.  It’s not that we have to agree with them.  Why not simply understand that they have good reasons, based upon their personal circumstances why they believe what they do, and respect them for that.

Now … let’s add a little fear into the equation – – or, more fear than we already have had about the state of the world and possible terrorism.  Enter:  the faltering economy.  People have lost their jobs, pensions have been reduced to unlivable levels, and many are less sure about their futures.  Humans do funny things when we’re scared — like get angry at the nearest target, get into the blame game, and be even more ugly to others.  We huddle in the safety of those like us.

Now, even 9/11 has entered the conflict and we are divided over that.  Let’s hate *all* Muslims … let’s burn the Quran.  The anger that we legitimately have at a few extremists is now being aimed at an entire religion.  IMO, Christianity has it’s extreme elements, too, and it behooves Christians to look within a bit more and make sure they’re blameless before they go after another.  (And, I’m a Christian)  True — Christians have not run planes into buildings, but there is no difference between Christian (or any) extremism and theirs in their mentality.  Also (IMO), extremism begets extremism on the other side.  Humans so often react as a pendulum does.  If things go too far one way, we have a tendency to make it go that far the other way, probably out of fear to keep whatever it is as far away as possible.

This entire thing saddens me, because in all these things, imo, we have lost sight of what happened — and the meaning of this day — to remember those who died, and especially to honor the rescuers who were killed in the line of that duty.  It was awful and very wrong what happened, and anger is understandable toward the extremists who did the acts.  But — IMO — to blame all Muslims, and to allow this to turn our country (and people) into a Muslim hating country is not fair to them.  Ok — I’ve heard that they hate us, so we’re just being stupid to be understanding and respectful.  Well — to respond to this – the Christian message is not "revenge", but one of "taking the higher road" – or – that’s how *I* personally see it.  Bottom line:  how is peace and understanding going to be achieved with this mentality?   I’m not saying that we roll over and play dead, and we must be vigilant as far as unearthing possible terror threats.  Terrorists do exist!  It’s just this hate we seem to be feeling for anything and anyone that is different, and disagrees with us is surely not helpful.

I was going to leave comments open, but have decided as I write this that I’d rather not.  Today is not a day to debate any of this.  Instead, what I’d like is for any readers to simply remember those who died — and to honor those who who tried to rescue those trapped, but were also killed.  Please — just do that.

Of course the comments here on this entry are enabled.  🙂

And … as I think on this, I realize that this issue is a lot more complex than one blog post written by one “rank amateur” can ever cover.  Scratching the surface of the issue is a start.