On 10 Years Ago

Regardless of the type of media, there was no shortage this past week of 9/11 stories. Sorrow, confusion, fear, pride, anger, grief, emptiness, and dismay – the stories were there to capture the emotion – as they were there to capture heroism, patriotism, or genuine service and compassion. This post is not about recounting where I was on that day; nor of my personal encounters with that day; nor is it to rehash the countless stories that already exist – but to stimulate thinking.

Learning is an important tool for everyone. All one has to do is read online comments regarding anything about Islam to conclude that many, if not most, American non-Muslims know very little about Islam and hold many misconceptions.

Forgiveness, an important Christian foundation, is something that one must do in order to heal their wounds. My November 16, 2010 post about forgiveness concludes with a challenge regarding 9/11.

My last aim is to remind us of something we had, but have lost. 9/11 brought a political grace to Washington. The event brought elected officials together. 9/11 gave leaders an opportunity to lead to heal. 9-11 gave Washington the opportunity to listen, discuss, and gracefully disagree. 9/11 gave leaders the opportunity to be country first. 9/11 gave us as citizens to be one. I a column titled Into an Unknowable Future, Tom Brokaw wrote these words a few weeks after 9/11: Will the surge of bipartisan spirit endure, washing away the pettiness that devalues public life and alienates voters? (NY Times, Sept 29, 2011)

It is my nature to be reflective and positive about life.  I appreciate the image above because it reminds us of what was and illustrates the light of hope for what is to come. And yes, a positive image.

12 thoughts on “On 10 Years Ago

  1. I share your hope for the future–and wish the whole country would learn the lessons of tolerance and understanding as well. Thanks for reminding us that we need to respond with thought and reflection, not just emotion.


    • Patti,
      Although emotions drive each of us, unfortunately it can take us to both positive and negative places. And I’m thankful for the many who also see and work toward a positive future. Thanks for visiting.


  2. As I’ve said elsewhere, we need to remember, to learn our lessons so we don’t repeat our history. But we’ve come to confuse remembrance with holding on to everything, the good and the bad.
    While some negative emotions, such as sorrow for lost loved ones and sadness at the devastation, will always be present, it is the positive emotions we should emphasize. The feelings you touched on – unity, bipartisanship, an love of country – without ugly jingoism.
    We owe the people in the Towers, the people in the Pentagon, the people on Flight 93, and most importantly, the 343 brave firefighters and their police brethren, ALL the people who died that day, nothing less.


  3. I am leaving variations of the comment below on the little circle of blogs I frequent. Not to take away from yours being exceptional, I just can’t handle the emotion of typing the story several times so I cut’n’pasted this. Forgive me.

    I absolutely cringe when I hear people say “Everything happens for a reason.”…..BULLSHIT. And I completely understand your point. Well said.
    In 2006, I visited “the site” with our high school’s “show choir”.
    It was sobering.
    After visiting the site, we stopped at the little church there, the oldest public building on Manhattan island. It’s the church where George Washington was inaugurated, I believe.
    The place was packed with tourists, and our choir got up front and sang The National Anthem (all verses)….not a dry eye in the place.
    Many tourists sobbing openly and hugging children.
    Something I’ll never forget.
    It was St. Paul’s Church, link here:

    I really can’t watch the stuff today. Sitting here in the hospital with Dad, and he certainly doesn’t seem strong enough to survive this time. If I watch the memorial stuff I’ll bawl like a baby. Even though Dad is incoherent most of the time, I don’t want him coming-to and seeing me sobbing like a damn fool.

    I am ready to forget and move on.
    Let’s do the next right thing and fix our own fractured society. ‘Nuff said.


    • Sekan,
      The emotions around 9/11 are both personal and wide ranging as it affected everyone differently and each of us handle and view these types of events differently. I’ve only been to the site once, and remember going into the church you mentioned. Many thanks for the reminder. More importantly, strength to you as you deal with the emotions of your dad’s illness. Thanks for sharing.


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