I have a terrible confession to make. I don't remember exactly where I was when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists. I don't remember exactly what I was wearing. I was in high school then so I was probably in class, and I have friends who tell me the footage was played live in schoolrooms across the country. I'm sure that if it were played in mine, I'd remember ... but it wasn't.
I do remember what I felt when I found out what had happened. I remember how enraged I felt when I learned that my country had been attacked. I remember the fear that washed over me when I realized the extent and intent of the attacks. I remember the confusion, the sadness.
I remember being utterly overwhelmed.
Today, I still have goosebumps, just remembering that day and all those feelings. I still have an overwhelming sense of sadness when I remember the people who died that day, and the heroes who gave their lives trying to save the innocents that were trapped and buried under the rubble. Today, I am still a little fearful, and on this anniversary of that horrible day, I can't help wondering if it will happen again.
I am angry too. I am still so enraged that it makes me shake. How dare those cowards come here and murder my countrymen! How dare they even make the effort to take away my freedoms, my safety! How dare they DAMAGE MY COUNTRY!?
You know what else I am? I am confused by the ability of some people to forget what has happened. I am confused as to how September 11 can go by unnoticed. I am confused as to how there can be children in this country who don't know what 9/11 means because they have not been taught. I am confused by people who bitch and moan about "The War On Terror" as if it should never have started, as if our countrymen had no right to retaliate against the attacks against us when Al-Qaeda waged a war of their own against innocent American citizens who were unaware and unable to defend themselves. I am confused about why this day is downplayed sometimes, as if we should "forgive and forget", as if we should just take a breath and let it go because it is in the past. I am confused as to why our current president and his administration feel the need to rename "The War On Terror" and instead call it "The Overseas Contingency Operation". Let's just call it what it is, shall we? Why don't we as a people rename it again and call it, "If you come into our yard and kill our flowers, we will spray your sorry asses in the face with pesticide." Or we could call it, "Oh yeah? You think you're big badasses? Well WATCH THIS."
Forgive me if I am not sympathetic. The way I feel, those idiots that highjacked our planes and MURDERED almost THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE came here representing a large group of people who HATE Americans. And if we send a bunch of soldiers over there to knock them back and kick their asses, then that's GREAT!
On this anniversary, make the effort to remember. Take the time to teach your children the history of this day and instill in them a sense of pride in their country, a sense of justice. The dead were our neighbors, our friends, our family members. Fellow Americans. Though they are dead, they must not be forgotten.
Have You Forgotten?