“To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
-Louis L'Amour

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Death of Innocence on a September Morning


by Janet Crain

Ten years ago today our generation experienced its own Pearl Harbor. The shock and grief that an enemy could attack our citizens on our own soil was almost too much to register. A completely unprovoked attack on civilians, including women and babies, in the midst of a huge powerful city where no one thought such a thing could happen, ripped our innocence to shreds that September morning and September will never be the same.

To me September always evoked memories of the first week of school. High school football, Jr. High kids in stiff new clothes, and kindergarteners clutching bags with Elmer's glue and blunt scissors inside. And parents clutching the hands of  their little ones about to embark on a lifetime of independence.

And even here in Texas hints of the cool weather to come. From out of nowhere, a sharp cool breeze reminding you that another season was just around the corner. Soon it would be Halloween and then Thanksgiving and Christmas. Already?

But that cruel September morning ripped away the happy memories and substituted horrible images in their place. We flew flags and watched television relentlessly. There was no sacrifice our government could ask of us to right this wrong that we would not support. Our Congresspersons stood on the Capitol steps and joined hands in unity and sang America, the Beautiful. There were no ideologies, no political parties. For one brief shining moment there was just Americans; hurt, stunned, but not destroyed.

I hope for just this one day, ten years later, we can put aside pettiness and reflect on the implications of that day. In addition to the respect and remembrance due the victims of this terrible injustice, try to imagine if that day had never happened.

An exercise in futility? I don't think so. Humility, maybe.

Let's cut our past leaders some slack and think about the choices they had. To do their best to insure this terrible day was never repeated.

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September 11, 2001

Wikipedia Public Domain Photograph




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