As the anniversary of September 11 approaches, we find ourselves once
again drudging up compassion and patriotism, ready to light candles
and join hands with strangers for the sake of peace and unity.
Countless memorials across our nation will host thousands of tears
praying, begging for a better world where planes are not flown into
our mothers, brothers, and friends. Just as the weeks that followed
September 11, 2001, Americans will stand together, united in our hope
for love and kindness for all mankind.
Everyone I know wants to do something grand, wants to hold hands and
give hugs, maybe take dinner to an elderly woman. We’ll turn our
headlights on that day and hang our flags at half-mast. We will honk
at the painted man holding his flag high on the highway overpass.
However, as great as it is to have this unity back in our hearts, I
can’t help but feel disgusted that in the last half of the year,
everyone forgot that little feeling of togetherness that carried our
nation through those first few months of recovery. After the debris
was cleared away from Ground Zero, after all survivors’ wounds were
dressed, and all television programming was back to normal, it seems
as if Americans also returned to our old ways.
It didn’t take long for some of us to attempt to fraud the various
charities setup for the families and victims of 9-11. In fact, some
news reports tell of husbands killing their wives, passing off teary-
eyed stories about how their soul mates were killed at the World
Trade Center – lies that are true for many of our neighbors. This
less than a year after we all held hands and cried together.
Television news brings you reports of parents having sex with their 3-
year-old child over a webcam, all for the pleasure of their fellow
abusive parents. There’s fighting everywhere.
We must not only remember that 9-11 happened, but that all of these
other things have happened since. Have we already forgotten how ugly
the world can be that we’re back to hurting each other again?
Americans are disconnected from one another. We’re back to hating, to
slamming doors in each other’s faces, tramping on flowers to save
three seconds around the garden. Again, a fellow American isn’t much
more than an inconvenience, a traffic jam, or a lazy slob taking up
air on the Eastside of town.
As we light candles in memory of those lost on September 11, 2001, we
should light the sun to remember how we felt about each other during
those weeks that followed the attacks. With that much love for human
life circulating on a more permanent basis, America is sure to change
for the better. While we remember what was lost, we must take the
time to remember what remains: walking past you on the street with a
bag full of groceries, the children jump-roping in a parking lot, the
elderly man that takes up smoking because he’s tired of being alone.
There are so many people in our country who are still alive and in
need of our love and compassion.
We will mourn again for those lost on September 11, 2001. But how
long will our change-of-heart last this time? What about next year?
We must be careful not to let it slip away again. If we don’t take
the time to pay some positive attention to those that are still
around, September 11 will happen again; perhaps this time from