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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pausing to Remember

So I took a slightly unintentional FOUR months away from my blog.  What can I say?  It's been a busy summer! 

I have been consumed with the upcoming election.  Watching my party's convention, Sunday morning political commentary, and 24-hour cable news have made up a great deal of my spare time as of late.  There is so much that I want to say about the candidates and the issues!  But first, I couldn't let the anniversary of the September 11th attacks go by without acknowledging the victims of that horrible day, or the fine men and women of our Armed Forces who've been fighting for justice and freedom ever since.

No one can think about that day without remembering where they were, how they found out, what they were doing before they got to the closest television, and how the horrible sight made them feel.  I was home, getting ready for work when my husband turned on the television, having heard about a plane hitting the WTC on the radio.  We thought it was a tragic accident and nearly dismissed it as such when we witnessed the second plane exploding into the second tower. 

I remember every detail of the rest of that day, as well as most of the events of that week, even though it went by in a blur of grief and profound sadness.   People were kinder for a time, but that ended.  I've heard that crime was even down for a few days.  No planes flew overhead for the rest of that week, which was nice, considering the last planes most of us saw were slamming into buildings.

Almost 3,000 people died that day.   Moms and Dads, Sisters and Brothers, Sons and Daughters.  People in airplanes, people in buildings, people wearing uniforms, people at work, people walking on sidewalks, people stopping to look, people trying to get away, people praying for rescue, people who thought they were safe and out of harm's way.   Some of the souls we lost that day were Muslim, and about 10% of those who died were foreign nationals or citizens of other countries. 

Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have died since.  Approximately 6,300 U.S. Troops have died and another 42,000 wounded in the "War on Terror" in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Sure, we've killed a fair amount of the terrorists, including the masterminds of the attacks, but when is it enough?  Will it ever be enough? 

We can't bring anyone back.  What we can do, and have done, is clean up the mess they made, mourn our dead, and rebuild.  Once a year, we can remember the souls we lost that day.  We can fly our flags on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veteran's Day, and now on September 11th. 

We can be kinder to one another, the way we did that week.  That would be a nice way to remember.

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