Saturday, September 10, 2011

Marking a Moment

Ten years ago the world changed. Almost three thousand people lost their lives in a war that we didn’t even know we were fighting. They were people just going about their business who became casualties in a conflict that sprung from the mind of a mad man. That mad man is gone (thanks to Seal Team Six) but this will never bring back those close to three thousand souls who were lost that horrible day, September 11, 2001. The people at Pop Photo have an excellent four-page article of that day ten years ago. Parts of it are hard to see and to read; however, this is important to keep in mind – September 11th, 2001 can never really be marginalized to a footnote, at least in our time; too much has happened and continues to happen. The world has changed. That being said here is their article:

Ten years have passed since the world changed. Is the world safer now? There is no way I can answer that; however, I would say that we are much more wary these days. There have been the attempts of terror that we are aware of and, no doubt, there are those that we are not aware of. I am thankful that those who are on the wall, both seen and unseen, who are protecting us are good at what they do. We owe them a lot of respect and a debt of gratitude that I really do not know how to repay. As a nation we have given up some of our rights for increased security and, I have no doubt, this concept will continue to be debated by people far more informed than yours truly here in the electronic pages of this blog.

“Is that good – giving up personal rights and freedoms for safety?” I can’t answer that either but I can say that the world has changed and I do not believe things will ever be as they were again. Perhaps they shouldn’t be. One could argue that we should return to simpler times but the fact of the matter is the world is not what it used to be. I heard someone say recently that, “On September 12th, we were Americans, not black, not white, not Latinos but Americans.” There is something important to be taken from these words. 9/11 polarized us as a people and as a nation. Back in 2007, I wrote this about our shared experience: and asked the question, "Where were you when the Towers fell?"

My sincere wish is that we could return to simpler times but we know that this will never be the case. The world remains changed. Please join me in remembrance of those lost and of all those who came to their aid on that unforgettable and terrible day 10 years hence.

Photo by Stephen Nessen

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