Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later: A Few Thoughts on 9/11

Like so many others, ten years ago this morning I watched the second jet liner slam into the second of the Twin Towers in New York City stunned by the realization that this impact along with the first we not accidents. The unthinkable was happening for the whole world to see; America was under attack. That morning I knew life in the America I loved would never be the same. It would be some time before we would understand what that would mean but I had a knot in my stomach telling me it would not be a good thing. My son was only a few months old and my daughter had not yet been born. The world they would inherit would be very different from the one I grew up in.

Ten years and two wars later, a much more intrusive government casts prying eyes into every corner of every American's life. In my mind, even with the recent death of Osama Bin Laden, the terrorists succeeded in changing life in America forever. But something else happened that I don't believe they imagined when carrying out these horrible attacks. A new generation of Americans were given a common experience to unite them as Americans.

Explaining all of this to my now ten year old son has been challenging. Each time there is a news story about someone being abused by TSA agents for simply trying to travel from one part of our country to another, both of my children do not understand why someone from the government would treat people that way. My daughter has even questioned how the TSA could think a small child could be carrying a bomb. My son thinks the excuse of terrorism is wearing kind of thin. While they are both right in my opinion, the fact remains there are people in the world who wish us harm simply because we are Americans.

On this day, the 10th anniversary of those horrible attacks, we need only look to the progress being made in New York City. What an amazing transformation to the skyline of the city! And what of those who are rebuilding and continuing to show the rest of the country and the world the undefeatable spirit of the American people? Your story is our story! Today the world looks to you and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and to a small field in Pennsylvania and we remember.

It is with mixed emotions that I remember that day. I am proud of the work that is taking place in these parts of the country. The best of the American spirit is on display as the World Trade Center is rebuilt. It is with sadness that I remember the loss of life that occurred that day. It is with a bit of anger that I accept the new reality that a measure of freedom was taken by those terrorists and it is unlikely that the people of American will ever have those freedoms restored.

Never forget!