10 September 2011

one more person's thoughts.

i know everyone has been harrassed with 9/11 tributes/reflections/news stories in the last few weeks, and i don't want to exhaust anyone with my take on the last ten years of my life and how it has or has not changed.  but bear with me, i'll try to keep it short and, as always, honest.

1.  on 11 september 2001, i wasn't yet twelve years old.  if you're mormon, you know what i mean when i say i was still in primary.  initially, i wasn't exactly aware of the gravity of the situation when the principal announced over the intercom at school that there were some plane crashes relatively nearby and that people died.  my thoughts were more focused on social studies and how i was going to ace my assignments (yeah... even at eleven).  but for the rest of the day while we rotated classes, we just watched the news for the rest of the day and didn't have normal lessons.  i remember watching the same video clips over and over and over again, and it was all so fascinating to me.  i remember i was so frustrated that there wasn't more caught on tape, there weren't more angles, more pictures.  i don't think i realized that i was essentially watching people die.

2. because we lived so close to the events of that day, just about everyone at school had at least one degree of separation with someone who was killed or deeply affected by the attacks.  except for me, and like an ignorant child i was so mad about it.

3. i don't know what a war on "terror" is.  what is terror?  it's a noun, an idea.  you can fight nazis, you can fight the north/south, you can fight tories and royalists and hessians.  you can't fight terror.  and if you can't fight a war on terror, you can't win a war on terror.  i feel this concept applies to drug wars, also.

4.



i visited the Healing Field memorial-type thing at tempe beach park this morning, and it was kind of incredible.  the flags represent each and every person who died on september 11th, and each flag had a card with someone's name on it.  some families had decided to give a short description of their loved one and i read a couple.  it was interesting to see what families decided to share about these people in a short space.  it made me think about my own family members and friends - if i had to describe them to the world in three sentences, what would i say about them?

when i stood in the middle of all the flags, it was both surreal and sad at the same time.  surreal that so many lives were lost all at once.  sad that so many lives were lost all at once.



5. it's hard to say i've really changed in the last ten years because everyone changes in their teenage years whether or not events like september 11th happen within that time period.

but at the same time, my thought on the whole thing is this: things happen - really bad things happen, and they happen all the time.  humans have been killing each other since cain killed abel, and we will continue to be the only species that wages war against itself.  i think this idea - that war is a fact of life - is something i'd have adhered to even if what happened ten years ago didn't happen.

you want to know what bothers me most about september 11th?  the fact that, as a whole, we haven't changed.  yeah, americans were more patriotic and "america-loving" after the attack happened, but we haven't really changed.  we live our lives just the same and with the same mindsets as we did on 10 september 2001.  we aren't any kinder.  we aren't any more generous or loving or selfless or accepting of others.  i think this is wrong.

so as we embark on the next decade of our lives, try and let's change it up, yeah?


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