Is it possible to remember 9/11 and appropriately honor those directly affected and yet look for new ways to respond, ways that seek healing instead of vengeance? I hope so.
If this resonates with you, I invite you to view this Charter for Compassion video.1Yes, I shared this video a couple of years ago, but with the continued violence in Syria and Iraq and the renewed drumbeat for never-ending war, maybe we find a different long-term solution.
“Plume of smoke on 9/11/2001 from the World Trade Center attacks. As NASA explains: This image is one of a series taken that day of metropolitan New York City by the International Space Station’s Expedition 3 crew that shows the smoke plume rising from the Manhattan.” —(NASA.)
In the six years that have passed since September 11, 2001, here’s what I’ve learned about America:
America doesn’t have to go to comics books to find heroes. America’s heroes are found in the form of fire-fighters, police, high rise workers, and even airline passengers.
When you kick America, all America feels it. Americans forget about “red state this” or “blue state that.” Instead, Americans pull together and become red, white, and blue.
When you kick America, America kicks back — hard. America won’t be intimidated by terrorism. Instead, America aims to eliminate it.
I learned those lessons immediately. Other lessons took longer:
America has a short memory of wrongs done to it. America prefers to befriends and rebuilds its past enemies. America doesn’t harbor grudges for millennia.
Unfortunately, some of its enemies do.
When America fights a war without hardship at home, Americans stop believing they’re at war.
When the American government is able to thwart terrorist attacks for six years, Americans stop believing that terrorists would still like to hit America. Some even stop believing terrorists hit America on 9/11.
Americans like to believe that everyone else is like they are: valuing liberty, democracy, civil liberties, and freedom.
When faced with evidence to the contrary, many Americans prefer to believe that the American government is evil, that this war is make believe, and that no threat exists.
I’m thankful we haven’t had a serious terrorist attack on our soil these past six years. I hope America remembers:
We Americans have much more in common with others than we have differences.
Preserving/maintaining/defending America is more important than a political party or an election.
We can work together to find solutions, and that we must work together to be successful.