Today is the anniversary of that god-awful day 12 years ago when our country witnessed so much venom heaped on our own soil. It was the day we went face to face with Islamist Extremism and our noses were ground shamelessly on the dirt. We had to smell the burned engine fuel, inhale the black fetid stench of death and destruction. We had to watch, like children mesmerized by a carousel, the steady approach of the first plane towards the North tower, and then the collision and subsequent destruction. Over and over again. These images would forever be etched into the memories of our generation, and those of our children. I had posted a different significance of this day for me and my family here.
We visited Ground Zero a few times over the years since then. Once was in 2002 when all there was left was this dark hole when viewed from a tall building a block away. More recently, my hubby and I visited. Amidst so much security and construction, a memorial was taking shape. I wonder how much solace it can possibly offer to the families who have been directly impacted by the loss of a loved one there. I wandered around the museums. I had no words.
I can’t help but think of how our lives have been affected by this event. Certainly, more than 4000 American lives lost and trillions of dollars spent in the Middle East fighting a civil (or religious or tribal) war we were conned into does not speak much for getting even. To this day, no one can seem to answer the question, “Where are the WMD that Saddam supposedly was stockpiling?” Did the memo get misplaced? Were the decision makers asleep at the debriefing? What about the “nucular” war that was being spewed in many a speech to the nation by Bush?
Yes, Americans are war-weary. More importantly, Americans are tired of being lied to. The latter is George W’s biggest legacy. I’m not surprised that its long-term repercussions have weighed so heavily on the public’s seeming lack of empathy towards the genocide happening in Syria. Nope. No one wants another spectacular blunder. Let’s hear from the U.N. inspectors on what their findings are. Let’s hear it for the boys!
On the one hand, should America sit out this battle, in the face of innocent civilians being gassed, writhing to a painful death? Where is our humanity, one should ask? Is it the United States’ duty to the world to uphold what is good and fair? Is it indeed our god-given duty, being the stronger, more powerful, and capable nation to “make democracy possible for all, as Woodrow Wilson had eloquently articulated in his 1917 speech, where he announced that the United States was going to war with Germany?
“…The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them….”
Others might ask, “What of our duty to our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters?” Do we put them in harm’s way by sending them to the Middle East to be massacred and wantonly paraded as bounty by rebel groups? What do we owe them? What do we owe their families?
Yes, Mr. President. Do get Congress to be intimate with this discourse instead of throwing potshots at it, (
although we all know they will do the opposite of what’s right and sensible just to piss you off). Do get the blessing of the United Nations if their investigation confirms what everyone suspects. And yes, Russia needs to do their part in taming their shrew too.
- Obamas, Bidens mark solemn 12th anniversary of 9/11 (huffingtonpost.com)
- What’s Driving Russia’s Tactical Change on Syria? (NPR.org)
- U.N. Report Finds Both Sides In Syria Commit War Crimes (NPR.org/blogs/thetwo-way)
- Vets Mark September 11 Anniversary With Yosemite Climb (NPR.org)
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Living History (dailypost.wordpress.com)