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It's so close now, where we're we and how have we changed?


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since 9/11?

I know where I was, I was supported by my husband, during the beginning of a messy divorce, this moment became part of our strength in the aftermath, and our combined belief in the ability of the U.S. and of "us" as a world to rise above this atrocity. We, in America, learned lessons on how our allies and even our detractors felt about our beliefs and the things we had attempted to do to improve the world as a whole. You may make comments on our differences and on our "superpoweredness", but we found out that day that we were as vulnerable as everyone else.... that no matter our passion for the betterment of the world, we were a target of hate.

That woke many of us up. That is what taught us the hatred of the world for us, we lived in a little bubble that we felt was safe, and we  revered it, and yet, we found out that we were hated by many that thought we were their friends, and we were loved by many we didn't even know the name of. Canadians spoke out for us, as did Romanians and Russians and some French as well.... we learned that trust is fleeting and that beliefs are ingrained. We learned that strength is in our brother and in the stranger next door. We learned not to assume, and we learned that love is eternal.

As a country we mourned and yet we woke up the next day stronger than the day before, we became closer to people we would never have once looked at. We became that which we most feared in the strangest of ways. We became one. We forgot politics. We forget differences. We forgot what hate meant. We remembered only that the man that died "up there" was our father, our brother, our friend. We learned to appreciate that what we used to take for granted. We also learned what segregation meant, and we took it out on everyone of muted color. If they looked Muslim, we looked thrice. We dishonered everything we learned because of our fear for our newfound loved one's whom we didn't even know.

For a short time we took the "low road" and we reveled in it. We perceived the whole as the enemy, and we lashed out. Even the common man became again a racist, yet not at that which we were so afraid before. At the unknown.

I found out later that I lost a dear friend at 9/11, one who had taught me some valuable lessons in tech school in the Air Force. He taught me that I could never know what was in a man's mind, only what the person wanted me to hear, and it was a bitter memory when I reconciled it to 9/11. But it was a lesson we all need to remember, that we only know what we see and what we hear, and that the rest is in "God's" hands.

What brings this topic to my mind you ask? I went and saw the movie World Trade Center, and it is 8 days before the anniversary of that date. The movie ripped at me - I was in tears through most of it, but the memories of everything that have happened since raise me up. I am plagued by the fact that if we weren't so naive as a country it would not have happened, but I am held high by the fact that we still have not quit on each other.

I have told everyone that has asked me since that date that I am not ashamed by my prior mistakes, nor am I bitter about the prior "acts against me". Those are the things that created the person I am, and I am proud of that person, and honored to be her. She's pretty awesome. I hope you all find the same peace within yourselves, and acknowledge that atrocities made against you. Only then will you move on without fear of repercussion and having the full ability to live life to it's fullest.

And in the pre-emptive moments of the anniversity of 9/11, I wish you the fullness of knowledge of who you are and who you have become. I am sure it will be wildly publicized again for political gain, or for terrorist motives, but at the end of the day, you became the greatness you are, or not: partly because of the trauma of that day in 2001. It was a moent of learning, and we did.

I believe that I have healed, with some scars, and some loss, but I know more now, and I doubt I will be taken by surprise of such as that morning at work. I believe now that I have more to offer others, especially in their own times of need that I can find some peace from that day.

THIS critic does not feel so, but maybe he should seek the heart and mind of the average real person that doesn't write for fame daily:


What we have learned since 9/11

POSTED: 12:00 p.m. EDT, September 3, 2006

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Editor's note: The following is a summary of this week's Time magazine cover story.

(Time.com) -- An American businessman, traveling in India when the planes struck the towers, made his way back to the U.S. the following week as quickly as he could. That meant hopscotching across the Middle East, stopping in Athens, Greece, overnight to change planes.

He spent the evening taking supper in a local taverna. No one in the restaurant spoke English, but when the owner realized he had an American in the house just two nights after 9/11, he asked his guest to stand up, face the other diners and listen to a toast.

And indeed, the entire room stood up, raised their glasses and said, as one, "Shoulder to shoulder, until justice is done."

Five years later, after an invasion of Afghanistan and an occupation of Iraq, and amid talk of war with Iran, it is fair to ask: Would they say it again tonight? Would we say it to each other?

This has become the loss with no grave, no chance for mourning, because we still live it every day: the loss of that transcendent unity, global goodwill, common purpose born of righteous anger that wrapped us like a bandage those first months after the attacks: a president with a 90 percent approval rating, a congress working as one, expressions of sympathy and offers of help from every corner of the planet. We are all Americans, said Le Monde.

That unity was never going to last. The world more easily loves a superpower when it's wounded and weakened than when it rises and growls. But we have not merely returned to the messy family arguments of September 10. We are broken, divided at home, dreaded abroad, in need of a hard conversation about America's vital interests and abiding values -- but too bitter and suspicious to have it.

All wars, even the noblest, bring a reckoning of means and ends. The war on terrorism has long since lost its crisp moral lines. Who foresaw that the battle would require a national seminar about when it's OK for Americans to torture prisoners and whether near-drowning counts? Or a debate over which clauses of the Constitution might be expendable? We may agree that terrorism is wicked, but we're still unsure about how to answer it.

Presidents make their hard decisions and then abide forever with their mistakes and regrets.

"I guess not many presidents have been understood in their own time," Lyndon Johnson said, reflecting on all the good he'd tried to do for people, who despised him nonetheless.

George W. Bush swats away the judgments that anniversaries invite. "There's no such thing as short-term history, as far as I'm concerned," he said last week.

We can't know how the story ends; but we know that there was a time five years ago when every day was Memorial Day, when we never would have imagined that we'd care what Brad and Angelina's baby looked like or dread air travel more for its inconvenience than its dangers.

Is that good news, a return to normalcy, a mark of resilience? Or does it too mark a kind of loss?

In the weeks after 9/11, out of the pain and the fear there arose also grace and gratitude, eruptions of intense kindness that occurred everywhere, a sharp resolve to just be better, bigger, to shed the nonsense, to rise to the occasion. And yet five years later, more than two-thirds of Americans say they are unhappy with how things are going -- exactly the opposite of the weeks after the attacks, when people were crushed but hopeful.

We saw back then what we were capable of at our best, and now find ourselves just moving on, willing to listen to our leaders but not necessarily believe them, supporting the troops but disputing their mission, waiting, more resigned than resolved, for the next twist in the plot.

No, we don't know how the story ends. The idea that history is written by the victors has been wrongly credited to Winston Churchill, but he did say that, "If you are going through hell, keep going."

But you wonder whether years from now -- five? 10? 50? -- there will come a day when the victors actually know that they've won, that the battle is over and they can set about the writing. And whether even then, they will be sure that they have got the story right.

Click here for the entire cover story on Time.

The world has changed, I for one feel it is for the better. :) sorry for the rant.

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