The Continuing Tragedy of 9-11
We have wasted a terrible tragedy.
Today, on Facebook and all forms of media outlets, people will commemorate those horrific events that changed people forever on September 11, 2001. It is not difficult to believe that 14 years have passed as much as it is to believe that, for the most part, we are a less unified and, in my opinion, a more shallow nation than prior to that fateful date.
I remember reading an article not long after that day that had basically said that we, as Americans, had enjoyed unparalleled peace and nothing was more indicative of this than the “feel good” and “newsworthy” stories that infiltrated the nightly news and the covers of Time and Newsweek. That all changed, of course. However, what did not stick was the sense of patriotism and connectedness that was fostered in the next few months to follow.
It gets tiring to hear about the “lessons” learned from September 11th because, for the most part, they are used for negative, not positive, means such as to promote xenophobia and help boost electoral polling. No doubt, a big lesson is to not be asleep at the wheel. We have to be awake to the very real threats that surround us, our nation and as such, our futures. However, that is often used to create division, not unity.
What about the lessons about the importance of shutting out all the background noise that is not only distracting but also reflective of the worst parts of who we are? For all the issues that plague our country, we continue to soak in the Kardashians, Trump and jerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
I know this sounds preachy but if we had as many outraged posts on Facebook about what we are doing to ourselves as a nation (reduced commitment to education, the disgusting impasse that we can not seem to overcome regarding gun safety and mental health, the inability or apathy associated with holding our leaders accountable to facts and not soundbites, etc), we would rise as a much stronger and proud nation.
You may have heard the saying “don’t let a good tragedy go to waste”. I don’t know what a “good” tragedy is but I do know that is hard to think of one that has impacted so many people and will for the rest of their lives – and rocked an entire nation -like that of 9-11. We owe it to every single person lost that day and as a result thereafter, to not waste the sacrifices that were made. We owe it to do better than posting angry rants and looking to blame people who are different from us so that we can feel better about having a direct enemy. It just is not that simple.
We owe it to them to face our fears of having less than our parents and creating a next “greatest generation” that holds the future of our nation as more of a priority than the present. It makes me sad that we have devolved more into a nation of shallowness and second rate priorities. Maybe it is just me but this is a continuing tragedy – not only because of the events of September 11 but also due to the opportunities that we have seemed to overlook to come together and do the hard work.
Until next time,
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