Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Seems Like Yesterday, Seems Like Forever

I'm watching the coverage of the ceremonies for 9/11, and remembering where I was five years ago. Although I do recall those details, mostly I remember the fear. The bewilderment. The sense of impending danger. All you could do was look at the skies and ask helplessly, "What next?"

It was a nightmarish time. I live near Oklahoma City, and the bombing there is part of our state psyche. But as horrible as that day was, 9/11 seemed different because it never seemed to end. For awhile, every time you saw a plane, you wondered. Especially if they looked as if they were getting too low in the sky. I don't know how frequent fliers got back on planes, I really don't. And even after the planes were back up, there was a new threat that could come in your own mail box. Many cities even cancelled door-to-door Halloween activities for fear that kids would get anthrax-laced candy. Or that some kid would spill a pixie stick and the adults around them would see the white powder and push the panic button.

The amazing thing to me is that even five years later, about 1,000 remains are as yet unidentified. There are still families who have no closure, who live with the desperate knowledge that their loved ones are most likely dead, but...

I grieve for the families, and for our country and the world. But most of all, I grieve that the wonderful sense of unity that sprung up in America seems gone. Back in 2001, no one cared if you were from a blue state or a red state. We were all Americans. Yes, I know there were some whose terror got the best of them, and others who used 9/11 as a rationale for hate that already hid in their hearts. Working on a college campus at the time, I knew several good young men who were Islamic Saudis who knew they had targets painted on their backs. But for the most part, we were together. You could see Republicans side by side with Democrats. Christians and Jews and Muslims holding fast to each other. We still disagreed on various things, but could still stay unified while we did it.

Why have we forgotten those lessons in only five years? Civil discourse is apparently not possible today. Almost every dissenting discussion, whether political or not, is filled with rancor. We don't just disagree, we hate. Does it take another 9/11 to make us realize that we need each other? Whatever political affiliation, whatever faith, conservative or liberal, it doesn't matter. You are my neighbors, my friends, my countrymen. I need you. And you need me.


Blogger Missie said...

Well said.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous nessili said...

Amen sister.

I was in college here in VA at the time of the Murrah bombing--I still remember walking into my dorm room and being informed that a bomb had gone off in downtown OKC. My parents were still in OKC at that time. My father was a med student at OU Health Sciences center--he helped do triage.

I was working for the Federal Aviation Administration in DC on 9/11. After the Pentagon was hit, we knew there was still another plane missing. I hope I never have to evacuate a city like that ever again, wondering when and where the next attack would be.

Now I live minutes from a military base, and barely an hour south of DC--sometimes I wonder what kind of fears my daughter may grow up under.

And instead of coming together and strengthening ourselves for the long road ahead (for more will come, you can almost bank on that), a mere 5 years later we're back to bickering about the pettiest of things.

Sometimes I think Americans have no national memory.

And those who do not know (or remember) the past are doomed to repeat it.


3:32 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Well said, indeed.

5:26 AM  

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