September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010: We Must Stand United in Love

I have spent a significant amount of time in the last few days wondering what to post today.

I looked in my archives to see what I've posted in the past, and I have not posted anything. Perhaps it just wasn't the way I memorialized the day in the last couple of years.

I looked in my journal to see what I wrote that day. The thing that struck me the most was something I wrote on September 12, 2001:

"I laid there last night and for the first time in my life I didn't feel safe in my own bed. Every little noise made my heart race."

I've kept an eye on my feedreader in the last 2 days to see what others wrote to acknowledge this day. Some people wrote about their memories of that day.

Marinka re-posted something she'd written about her experience of September 11, living in New York, and how that day sticks in her mind.

Mrs. Chicken
captured me with this line, which made me freeze even now: "I remember my father, standing in the living room of my parents’ house, TV remote dangling from one hand, mouth agape."

Diane wrote about her morning, and captured me with the image of a storytime interrupted with a passed note and a "We're going to stop here. You should all go home."

Kristin was alone on 9/11/01, like I was, and found herself glad because "I cried my heart out for a few days and I know that I wouldn't have been able to fully express my sorrow if he were home. I hated being alone for most of that week, hated knowing that my sister, mom and husband were all on the West coast, but it truly was a blessing that I was alone."

Sarah recalled the events of her 9/11/01 at 36 weeks pregnant and brought tears to my eyes with this:

"I spent the next three days on the couch in my "uniform" (you know, the only XL maternity clothes that fit), glued to the TV. Alternating between grief, disbelief and horror.

What kind of world was I bringing a child into?


September 11, 2001. I will never forget."

One day, I will record my memories of that morning. Today, it is too much to think about.

Lindsey wrote about the realization that her children never knew a world where the World Trade Towers stood tall, and her hope that they will never know tragedy like this.

I've thought about this too. I have visited NYC several times, and have photos of myself with the World Trade Center as a backdrop. One visit, I stayed in the hotel at the base of the towers. When I come across those photos in my albums, I freeze. It's hard to believe that now it's just an empty space.

I think about the Holocaust during WW2 and about slavery and genocide, and I pray for my children to live in a world without such things. In comparison, September 11 was fairly small... and certainly the worst tragedy to occur in my nation during my lifetime. I hope theirs will be even smaller.

Gina paid tribute to her husband and his service to our country.

Mr. Lady wrote about what New York means to her.

Mimi wrote an uplifting post about how she recognized September 11 this year, with some great photos of her in fire fighting gear.

I find it overwhelming reading all of these words. I feel like I cannot truly recall the morning of September 11, 2001, because if I let it in - REALLY let it in - to my mind, I will break down. 9 years later, the disbelief and horror is still strong.

In addition to the tragedy and pain of the events of that day, we have another tragedy on our hands now in the prejudice that is being shown by so many against people of the Muslim faith. So, I have to say that my favorite post and action of today comes from Adam at Avitable. He created We Are MUSLIM "after listening to one of his friends, born in America and raised Muslim, break down in tears over the feeling that America was no longer a safe place for her."

From the website Adam created:

"What is “We Are Muslim”?

We are Making a United Stand to eLiminate Intolerance against Muslims.

Muslims are everywhere. They are our friends. Our neighbors. Our family. Our peers. Our colleagues. Our fellow Americans. Our fellow world citizens. And they are not terrorists. They are not dangerous or irrational or fanatics. They are peaceful and loving and kind. They are human."

"The events of 9/11 were the acts of radical extremists who perverted the tenets of their religion as a justification for their actions. And yet, across our country, a country that was founded on the concept of freedom from religious persecution, Americans are called “terrorists” and persecuted, shunned, and hated for no reason other than the fact that they are Muslim.

We cannot let this stand. Every single one of us, regardless of our religion, creed, orientation, nationality, race, or gender, needs to be united in our support of our Muslim friends. If we continue to stand idly by, we run the risk of revisiting the darkest times that our country has ever seen.

By declaring that we are MUSLIM, we can challenge those who hate, those who stereotype, those who treat someone less than human based on the shade of their skin or the religion they’ve chosen. We can encourage them to treat every American as an American and every person with the respect they deserve.

"Share this on Facebook. Subscribe to our feed for posts about the religion of Islam and the message of peace and love that prevails through this and every religion."

Thank you, Adam. Thank you for your wonderful heart, and this creation of love and unity. This is just what we need - today, and every day.

Today, I am remembering September 11. And I am looking forward to a future where we challenge hate, we provide for our fellow humans regardless of race or religion, where terrorism is erradicated and respect reigns.


Rachael1013 said...

I think that is the hope of every parent. For children to not experience
this or know that this type of thing happens and it happens to people we

Rachael1013 said...

I totally know what you mean about not wanting to publicly acknowledge it.
It is still such a traumatic experience, but it feels wrong to let it change
how we live or view the world.

Rachael1013 said...

I agree, we can't let it slow us down.

Ediehope said...

As I read this it occurs to me that 9/11 is the JFK assassination of your generation. Everybody remembers where they were the minute they heard the news, I was only four and I remember sitting on the floor behind a chair watching my mom look at the TV and cry. I had never seen her cry before and I was so aware that something was very wrong. Then my sister came home from school early.

9/11 didn't scare me. It's odd for me to read that my daughter felt so unsafe. I guess after living through the Cold War and Vietnam, I was jaded. We used to have air raid drills at school and it would scare me at night when I was in bed and an airplane flew over the house.

I was really hoping that you guys would be spared these kinds of feelings.

Mrs4444 said...

This was beautiful. I hope you had a chance to link it up yesterday. If not, please link it up on Saturday---It's definitely worthy of a repeat.

September 11 memories still move me to tears, as well. I was in my classroom at the time, high school social studies. I remember just wanting to go home and be with my family. Certainly, no one has forgotten where they were in those moments.

Heligirl said...

That's a great tribute and wonderful nod to fellow bloggers and pals. I struggled with whether or not to post something about it yesterday. I guess a part of me wanted to not publicly make any acknowledgment, not for lack of respect for all those who lost lives and loved ones, but more a refusal to empower those responsible by publicly acknowledging the act. I'm with Molly. That said, it deeply affects me and I still have a hard time dealing with it. I hope I have it sorted in my mind by the time my children are old enough to ask me about it, where I was, how I felt, etc. Thanks for the powerful post.

Molly said...

I didn't post about it. I can't articulate it. I'm a New Yorker. We soldier on. We acknowledge. We don't forget. But we don't let those assholes slow us down today. Or ever.

I cannot WAIT to check out Adam's new site. It sounds awesome.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Awesome post! I recognized many of those that you referred to. And I applaud your closing statement!

Justin said...

I had just landed in Texas coming back from Peru when the first plane hit. Got through customs to see it on all of the TV's. Then the airport (who didn't know what they were doing at all) decided to shut off all the TV's, move all the planes from the terminal, and herd all of us to the baggage claim areas, where they dumped all of the baggage kind of sorted by destination. $10,000 (yes, that's what it costs to charter a bus last minute to drive from Houston to Seattle, at least on 9/11) and 3 days later we were back home. Days after they reopened flights I was back on the airplanes. The security was a mess...

gaelikaa said...

I always say it. 9/11 was an attack on humanity. The people who did it do not deserve to be called human. But to discriminate against people because they are Muslim is wrong.

Mrs4444 said...

So glad you linked this up! Thanks.