Yesterday was the six anniversary of Sept. 11th. This is the first time I've been in one of the impacted cities, Washington D.C. The day was definitely remembered and caused me some serious contemplation.
The first way I knew it was Sept. 11th was due to a mass email that had been sent out the day before by our Agency Administrator. He stated that there would be a rememberance service held in morning in the plaza for anyone who wanted to come. Well as I don't arrive to work until 9 am the service was just about over, so I did not attend. Then I noticed throughout the day the larger number of police officiers that were around the downtown area. They were out and about more and seemed more on the alert. Finally, the culmination occurred. The presidential motorcage zipped past me. There were the police men on motorcycles, the policmen on bikes, the mulitple SUVs and finally the motorcage itself. The roads were blocked along Pennyslvania Ave and several of us were standing around in the rain watching. One man was on his cell phone telling a friend that the entourage was heading their way, that was until the local police moved us along. Anyways, it was quite exciting and amusing at the same time.
However, later I began to realize that we are one of the rare countries that celebrates attrocities. We have remembrances and memorials for Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Why? Why do we as Americans do this? Why when most of the rest of the world deals with bombings, threats, guns, and terror everyday. It is such a part of life in much of the world. Bombings occur daily, lives are lost on a continual basis, and fear is evident. Yet, they don't have remembrances of horrible attrocities. Shrines decidated to those lost. They go on. They live. Why do we have such a hard time? Do we think we're better than the rest of the world and they shouldn't be remembered? Do their daily struggles not mean the same as the ours? Or does the fact they live in it regularly diminish the treat and fear of terror?
I don't have any answers. I'm also not saying that we shouldn't remember what occurred that fateful day. I do think though we must not forget that millions live in that kind of world on a daily basis. They have lives marked with fear, and with hope. They have learned how to survive and carry on. We must think about the global implications of actions that occur from terror. We not only affect those who did the damage but those innocents as well. We should not make their lives harder, instead try to alleviate their pain. Again, September 11th is a horrible day for Americans, but many around the world have those days every day. Are they being remembered?