We will never forget.
…but will we will need think about a few things.
How many people did we kill in Iraq after we invaded a country for no justifiable reason – and when the world knows the real reason was and likely always will be one thing – oil?
We all know Saudi Arabia was primarily responsible for the attack, since the funding and most of the hijackers were Wahabi-ists with connections to the House of Saud.
We all know Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan for maybe a month, and then lived comfortably in the security sector in Pakistan in plain sight for years, yet we justified a war in Afghanistan for 20 years, doling out a few Trillion dollars which have enriched about 5 companies and left Afghanistan no safer than they were before we arrived from the ministrations of the Taliban.
We send drones to kill Terrorists, now, but sometimes those “terrorists” are a dude with a bunch of water containers in his car, headed out to provide humanitarian aid.
The 3,000 lives we paid on 9/11 20 years ago; are they worth more than the lives of the MILLIONS of people killed by the United States in our various global misadventures, trying to export ideas like “Freedom” and “Democracy” abroad, while our own Congresspeople and Senators conspire to overthrow the Government?
Governors sign bills into law that give a corpse more rights than a raped woman?
While people scream about “Freedom and Liberty” and shove their unmasked children into poorly ventilated classrooms, then launch “GoFundMe” accounts to pay for their grandmother or their child’s funerals?
We claim to value freedom while we oppress each other.
We claim to value democracy and the privilege of voting while nearly half of us who are eligible have never voted.
20 years out from an attack on our shores, where we were united for about a month, and then found a new way to have the world hate us as Hans Blix screamed from the ground in Iraq, “There are no weapons of mass destruction,” but could not be heard over the overly loud drums of war and the resulting cries for blood.
It is a tragic day.
A day to remember.
…but it must also be a day where we reflect on who we truly are and who we aspire to be, because entirely too often in this country, we are not “United.” We are not “Free.”We do not believe in “Liberty” unless that “Liberty” aligns with the idea that we get to control someone else’s body, ability to take drugs or not, what Church they attend, what beliefs they have in gender and sexual expression.
We seem to believe that the right to bear arms is more important than a child’s right not to be traumatized by monthly active shooter drills in school.
We seem to believe that rich people have the “right” to acquire wealth using infrastructure and labor that was trained and build with your tax dollars, but they seem to believe they have no obligation to pay a wage that allows a person to have a roof over head, food in their mouth, access to health care, and joy.
Rich people seem to believe that the working class has absolutely no right at all to experience joy.
It would seem that “Freedom” and “Liberty” are only for those who can afford them.
This essay will likely not rest lightly on people who are still traumatized by having watched towers that scraped the sky topple to the ground, and people who turned planes into missiles, nor will it rest lightly on the folks who walked home covered in the toxic dust of destruction, traumatized by watching their worlds flip on their heads in an instant.
To those people, I say I’m sorry.
…but I do believe that our country, the land of the “Free” has spent a lot of time preening in a false reflection, not looking at the reality, eyes focused on the future, and not on the “now.”
…and that action costs us in ways great and small.
I hope that we are now as a country at a crossroads, beginning to look at who we are in the world, what we have done in our past, and that we begin to learn that its time to remove some hands from the tiller that guide us into darkness in search of profit and power, and begin the journey that has us begin to see that we are part of a World community, on a precious little blue dot in a vast universe, that we only have this, and we only have now, and we need to begin to embrace each other, to listen to those who have been silenced, and to respect each other if we can’t find love in our hearts for the other glimmering beings around us.