Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thoughts on the Eleventh Anniversary of September 11th

photo source

For every American who was on the planet eleven years ago today, September 11,2001, is one of those days like the day when President Kennedy was assasinated, where you remember graphically and explicitly where you were.  Every American has a personal story about the day and the event.  Some of those stories involve the pain of personal loss and others involve moments of unexpected heroism.  None of us can forget the days and weeks afterwards as our national consciousness changed and together we mourned our losses.

Who could have known at the time, as people from all over the country arrived to help dig through the rubble for bodies, and messages of condolence poured in from around the world,  that eleven years later we would be a divided, squabbling nation screaming at each other like children on a playground not only about how to steer the ship of state, but also about what our communal responsibility to each other as fellow citizens and fellow human beings is about.

 Congress and Wall Street, both mired in corruption, serve up alternative visions of the future and scramble for votes and power.  Billions are spent on a political campaign that is the modern equivalent of ancient Rome's " bread and circuses" while  children go to bed hungry and families sleep in their cars.  1% of the population controls 90% of the country's assets and the 99% are occupying Wall Street and the Internet.

So I am happy to hear that both President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have decided to honor this eleventh anniversary of September 11th, a day that altered our national consciousness forever, by putting aside the bitter campaign rhetoric and stepping away from the drama just for a day.   Both campaigns will pause today, for a day of remembrance for the victims of 9/11.

The pause in the political hostilities should give us all pause and help us remember that eleven years ago, for just a few weeks and months we really were one people, sharing grief, courage and hope but never fear and despair.  On this eleventh anniversary of 9/11, in the middle of the most divisive political campaign in our history, let's try and remember what that was like, shall we?


prairieprincess said...

Great post! It is so true that that moment brought us all together for a short space. Take care.

Cyndi Calhoun said...

Sooo right there with you. I can't believe how divided we are when in the days and months after 9/11, you could see echoes of "United We Stand" all over the place. What happened to that? I even had a bumper sticker on my car with those words. *sigh* Great tribute and post. :)