Today is 9/11 and that brings with it a ton of memories, most of them painful and almost surreal. For those in NYC and those who lost loved ones on that horrible day, all of it is much more immediate–almost palpable, even after all these years. Consider too the ripple effect from that violent day. It spawned two wars practically on the other side of the world–one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. We went to Afghanistan for revenge and we went into Iraq out of fear. To the soldier on the ground, going through his or her daily dance with death, the reason is of little consequence. There have been 6,500 casualties in the wars and that has a ripple effect for all of the loved ones who live on and remember. For the soldiers that make it home, they often don’t make it home in one piece. And many of the injuries are unseen until they boil over. The truth that very few people are talking about is that there are estimates of over 50,000 injured vets that have come or will come home. Triple that number to account for undiagnosed brain trauma and PTSD. These soldiers will have very special needs that will require a grateful nation to step up to the plate and care for them.
I could get political but I won’t. Now is not the time for it. Time enough for that crap tomorrow. Today I just want to acknowledge all the ripples that began with 9/11 that have gone out to envelop the world. Because of 9/11, many of my fellow citizens died or suffered, many will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives, and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives, been driven from their homes, or wander the world as refugees. No, today is a day of remembrance for all of these people and the sacrifices made in the past, acknowledgement of the sacrifices the rest of us will have to make in the future to repair, as best we can, what has been broken, and to learn the important lessons so as to never repeat these same mistakes again. I think we can all agree there are lessons to be learned, but what those lessons are will be up for debate in the years to come. But again, not today. Today, I humbly own my country’s obligations to my fellow citizens, most especially the soldiers, and to the world in general. We most assuredly were attacked on 9/11 and became victims that day. But how we reacted to it….that I own–we own…today of all days, let us take on the yoke of that responsibility.
Peace be with you and yours.