It is the tenth anniversary of 9/11….the day that terrorist attacks were brought to the United States of America…it is amazing that an event can essentially be named a date…that nothing else about that date will ever matter or resonate. Just one year. One date.
It does not feel like a decade has passed. Time does fly. Then I remember that this is only for me. In my life. Through my eyes. Today I was watching ‘History Remembers 9/11′ and found that I was just as disturbed as I would have been if I were watching it a week after the attacks. The same sick feeling was in my stomach. The same thick knot in my throat. I was about to turn the channel thinking to my self that I really didn’t need to watch this. It’s not like I had not seen it before… After all we all saw it. It is too difficult. Then the thought came that while ,yes,we ALL remember and yes we ALL were witnesses-no, we ALL were not affected the same way. My life did not ultimately change. I did not go on to do great things for someone my age. I was stunned watching the news for the next week-then the next year. I had thoughts on what I could do. I thought of being an EMT. I thought of joining the army and before 9/11 had talked to an Air Force recruiter. I didn’t act on anything though. In the following years I got married,then divorced. I went to college for a semester or two before moving to Ohio for a vocational school, afterwards I had another plan of joining the military. Once again I didn’t.
All the while people who lived in New York or had family who worked in the Pentagon were going through therapy for PTSD,or getting treatment for illnesses that were a result from breathing the air on ground zero. People my age enlisted in different military branches.Many died shortly going into the war in Iraq. I had a friend in Ohio who was a marine. He probably joined after 9/11. We were about the same age and he had been in for five years before getting his discharge. He also was recon which adds another year for training, give or take. He was the most supportive when I was going in and gave the most sound advice. I never asked him for stories and he never offered them. We didn’t talk about why he joined and we didn’t talk about politics. He was a partier and he was wild but he was proud and it resonated. I still didn’t go.
So sitting here watching the History channel show some taped footage that I have not seen before and interviews that I haven’t heard before, because ten years ago the fog of high emotions and tragedy was so thick not everyone could be heard or even speak,should not be difficult. Listening to Condi Rice talk about so many people being jammed in a WWII Bunker and there not be enough oxygen and security going around the room telling certain faculty that they were not priority enough to stay in the bunker,is not a sacrifice for me.
     I have lost no one. I have lost nothing but a lot of time,and maybe I have learned and grown. One thing on this day that I can say is,that it really doesn’t matter what our opinions are,even if they stem from close held beliefs. Even if we are right. If every conspiracy theory I have ever heard is right,even if history from beginning to end is already written,that wont hold back someone with a sense of duty or keep them from answering what they feel is a calling. It wont lift the grief of a nation or a nations people. It wont rebuild buildings or heal wounds. It wont stop every battle from this point on. There will always be wars and people to fight them. There will always be politics and opinions and people who want power. The most damaging thing that was said in order to “protect” me,were the words, “I’m a patriot too,and if I thought it would do any good I would join tomorrow but it wont!”. Those words changed me. They made me feel defeated and in turn made me a defeatist for the next few years. I’ll be damned if I ever repeat those words as a means to “enlighten” someone.

      People in high places with too much power holds no bearing on the kind of person I am,or the kind of people the marines I met in Ohio are,or the integrity of my cousin who is a Captain in the Army. It doesn’t change what the American ideal is. America is not represented in the Republican Party or the Democratic Party and its not represented  in Anne Coulters’ books or Joyce Behars’ HLN talk show.  It’s not represented on Alex Jones radio show. All of those representations are divisive and only continue to stir a pot of discontent and give us reasons to hate each other and hold on to war or anti-war stances.  America is an ideal that is held to and believed in and keeps people believing that things will be better,and people will be more free tomorrow then they may be today. It keeps us believing that righteousness and freedom will continue to win over adversity and oppression. I know that it keeps me feeling sane. A few years ago I was a combative republican with a feeling that I was always right and if a person did not agree then that person was wrong. Then I was ready to live as hobo awaiting the apocalypse that inevitably was going to happen as a result of years of war and nation building and Obama being in office. Now if I call myself a political title ,it’s a libertarian,but that doesn’t mean come election year I am going to brow beat everyone with blogs about Ron Paul. Because at the end of the day I am an American,and so are you,and what ever decision we make we have to make it based on that and nothing else. It took me ten years to just be at peace with that thought.

Today as we remember 9/11,the one day in this generations recollected History where we were all Americans,let’s be that. Lets all be Americans.

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