This is a departure from form for me, as I’m not soliciting laughs from this post. Twelve years ago I worked the night shift in a paper mill and usually didn’t get home until 7:00in the morning. I would usually pass my wife in the hallway as she got out of bed and I went to lay down. I hadn’t been there long when my wife burst through the bedroom door that morning in a panic unlike I’d seen from her, barring when she hurt one of our vehicles. It didn’t take much to realize she’d either really wrecked something good, or she was terrified of something. She stammered something to the amount of “we’re under attack.” I ran into the living room in nothing but a pair of boxers to defend whatever needed defending, I must have looked confused because she then said something along the lines of “look at the TV stupid.” I followed directions. It was about then that I watched the second plane strike the World Trade Center. I thought she had woke me up for a movie trailer. I was pissed. Then I realized that this was really happening. For nearly 24 hours I sat and stared at the television watching over and over, hoping for an explanation, a confirmation, or at least new details. The new details weren’t any better. Two more hijacked planes would crash, neither doing the damage they were meant to, but a blow to my psyche nonetheless.
The buildings coming down were a reflection of my own inner turmoil and a felt a part of myself fall with them. I have numerous firemen and a police officer in my family, I could only think about the families of those who had just been lost. Innocent civilians, public servants, men, women, and children, all lost to men who hated them for the abstract reason of representing a Western Christian country. For being part of a country they felt was too active in their respective regions. Senseless slaughter. Some good came of that day, we banded together as a nation for a while, stood behind our own world movement to correct the wrongs we felt existed and stood to harm us again. Twelve years of wars, conflicts, skirmishes, a recession that never really ended, and “assisting others” have taken their toll and this day does not mean what it used to mean, it seems. Maybe because of the same American individualism that made it possible to create a capitalist society that has sustained itself this long is the same reason it fades.
No matter what, the men responsible for this are gone, nothing will bring back the lost. I personally, wish I could thank all of the heroes that day, and the ones who still fight overseas today, as Patriot day this should celebrate them too. They are the ones who are risking their lives so that this never happens again, so that we can complain about how bad it sucks to have been at war this long. I thank their wives, husbands, children, mothers, and fathers so that our families at home can gather together in peace while theirs are separated by chaos and fear. I will thank whomever it may be that finally ends this conflict and allows the Middle East to do whatever it is they have done for thousands of years before this country came along. And I will thank whomever it is that turns their eyes inward and heals a nation that no longer trusts or believes in what it truly stands for.
Sorry for the rambling. My thoughts tend to work like that. Stay strong readers, and remember that there are people still out there who need our support.