Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kate's Story: Where were you on 9/11?

Sometimes a date is just a date. And sometimes it takes on a significance and you never forget it, like December 25th. Some days, like the date of a ex lover's birthday, recess from memory and become just another number on the calendar. On that bleak day ten years ago, I thought that September 11th would be another day that lived in infamy. But like December 7th, for many people it has become another day. As the years go on, life takes over. Weddings get scheduled, babies are born, and the sad memories are replaced with other ones.

Much like the date, the memories for me of September 11th have faded. At the time I lived way on the other side of the country and was fortunate not to know anyone personally affected it. If I think of the day, the memories of fear and overwhelming sadness come back. The twenty-four hour cross country drive we took a couple of days later to our engagement party. The feeling of our families arms around us when we finally reunited with them. The times spent crying when reading stories about those affected. But after ten years those memories are muted.  

What remains is that sadness. I mourn for our country's innocence. For so long we lived in a bubble, thinking we were "safe". I have always said that you look at the world differently when you know the worst can happen. And now we know the worst can happen. 

But that new world view is what makes me the saddest of all. Post 9/11, we live in a country clouded in suspicion where race and religion are acceptable forms of bias. Where the most damming thing people can say about our President is that he is a Muslim. Optimists will point out that he was also elected President with the middle name of Hussein. But every time I see veiled, and not so veiled racism bandied about on popular news it makes me depressed and worried about this country we like to call the land of the free.

In the end though, I am an optimist too and I hope that as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches the country will rally together as we did in the days and months ten years ago. I hope we can capture that feeling of unification and that the anniversary can be a healing time. We like to say that we were attacked because of who we are. The hijackers thought we who we are was a country of haters, of their religion and way of life. Their horrfying "justification" should not be the legacy of 9/11. The ideals, beliefs, and values that make us who we are as a country should be the legacy of the sacrifice of so many out of citizens.    

Kate Canterbury doesn't mind if you call her Guava. You can find her tweeting under guavalicious and hyper-local blogging at The COMO Collective. She recently started a personal blog The Guavalicious Life to muse about the highs and lows of parenting, marriage, blogging, and more. 

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