Friday, September 9, 2011

Ten Years Later

I know that I should feel something passionate or poetic about the tenth anniversary of 9/11, but honestly, I’m just tired. Tired of all the noise and commotion and the nagging feeling that somehow I should feel proud we were attacked.

I want to state right from the beginning that I don’t hate America, I’m not pro-terrorism, and while I’m against this war, I support our troops.

I think the reason why I’m frustrated with everyone making a big deal of this day is it is not like we were the only country attacked. London was attacked on July 7, 2005 and just recently Norway was attacked by a terrorist. To act like 9/11 was a defining moment in our country’s past only insults our European friends. Yes, the attack did change the course of our country history, but it does not represent anything about our nation.

Also, this isn’t the first time America was attacked. When I was traveling to Chicago (via train), I remember seeing some graffiti that said, “12/7. 9/11. Never forget.” But we don’t celebrate Pearl Harbor.

As Americans, we remember that day, but we don’t flout it. It is a battle scar we have and we’ll tell you all about, but only if you ask. In a way, I feel like this is more respect of what happened. Battle scars are not trophies.

Last semester, I had a professor say that 9/11 was the biggest event in my life. His comment really bothered me because I feel it robs me of my past and future. My best friend’s wedding means more to me than that day. The same can be said of my grandfather’s death, my tattoo, and even being accepted to Salem State.

Each of those events changed my life in different ways, and to be completely honest, more than 9/11 ever will. Besides, to focus on our past only hurts our present and ruins future chances. I’m not going to avoid planes because someone used it as a weapon once. When I get married, I don’t want to be thinking of 9/11.

A tragedy happened, but as a nation, we should let time and peace heal us.

I think The Washington Post editorial on tenth anniversary of Pearl Harbor said it best: "It is to this future rather than to the past that thoughts should be directed on this anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day."