Today is a day of rememberance for me.
I recall driving to work, and turning on the radio to listen to a newscaster become hysterical with fear and grief.
I recall getting to work, and clustering around the TV with everyone else to watch in shocked horror at the pictures that were being sent from New York.
I recall that NOTHING got sold that day, but many folks became much closer than they had ever been before.
I recall the solidarity of the entire nation as we grieved, rebuilt, recovered, and grew.
It seems like a bad dream to many.
But I refuse to forget.
Maybe it's because I was one of the many volunteers who went there to help clear wreckage. Maybe it's because of the selfless sacrifice of life that many of the police and fire fighters who gave willingly to try to rescue just one more person. Maybe it's the horrific sight of people throwing themselves hundreds of feet to their death instead of waiting to burn alive.
It could be all these, and more.
Now? I see presidential candidates using this day to try to further their own selfish goals. I see newspeople predicting "threat levels" for terrorism attacks. I see memorials built, and some undone. What does it all mean?
For one: NOBODY should have the right to take any political gain from the massive loss of life that occured on that day. To do so severely diminishes their stature in my eyes.
Secondly: Terrorist threat levels? Is there really such a thing? I mean, if you were to gauge terrorist threat levels before 9/11, would you have put the US into the "Categoy 5" massive red level? Terrorism thrives off of attacking when and where you least expect it to be. So to try to measure that is just an exercise in futility.. Quit trying to quantify religious zealots, and just take care of the here and now.. Thank you very much.
Lastly: Why oh why aren't the towers either built, or the monuments finished?
It only takes a year or so to fully construct a massive tower. Yet it's taken seven years to have a partially constructed memorial built where the towers once stood. And now? It looks like they might be delayed again.. because of politics! Sure, the one in DC is done. Great.. It didn't have as much of an impact as New York. Sure, it wiped out part of the Pentagon, but really? It hit a hardened bunker, and basically took out a wall. That's considered a minor scratch in the grand scheme of things. So sure, I can see that small memorial being completed. I just can't understand what took so long for it to be completed.
Now for the towers? I tend to agree with my blog friend The Nemesing One. Those towers should have been rebuilt bigger and better than before. A basic flaunt-it-in-your-face flip-you-the-bird screw off and die statement to any power that thinks that it can knock us down with a nasty show of force. What did we do? We cowered. We cried. We considered. We argued. We denied. And now we're undecided.
All this does is show the folks who thrive on dealing terror is that we're susceptible to their attacks, and that if they really want to make an impact, they've got to make sure that it puts on a really good show for the news.
I thank God for the men and women who serve our country. I also thank the men and women who put their lives on the line to rescue us in our times of need.
But I have to condemn our men and women who are put in positions of authority when they bicker, make deals, and downplay the sacrifice and dedication of these people if to do nothing but make themselves and their "careers" look better.
Do what's right.
Remember this day, and give it the respect it's due.