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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Passed, But The Tragedy is Still Fresh: Remembering 9/11

By: Neeta Wooten
Editor-In-Chief
September 11, 2011

(The IDEAL Magazine - Fall Issue Releasing 9/19/2011)

























Ten years ago today the devastating tragedy of terrorism struck the soils of the United States of America. More than 3,000 people died from that attack started by 19 men. Thousands of people were injured, yet all of America and most of the world will always be affected by the actions which took place the morning of September 11, 2001.

Like most incidents, there is 6-degrees of separation...in this case, for many, it was only one degree. Most people know someone who had a loved one parish, or had friends and family themselves expire from the horrible incident.

I remember visiting the grounds of the World Trade Center in New York City the year after the attack and instantly began crying. To see the large amount of empty space and know it was that exact area where people felt helpless seeing their fate and could do nothing about it. Most people know exactly where they were that morning, and can tell you exactly what they were doing when they saw, heard or experience the tragedy first hand. With the recent natural disasters of hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, the feeling of being helpless to something you see but cannot stop adds another layer of sensitivity to those who were physically caught in the attacks.

The result? Ten years later "America The Beautiful" is still standing, but we are forever changed. Not just socially and economically with the sky-high gas prices, inconvenient flight process and permanently altered access to national monuments, but also emotionally. September 11, 2001 will be scarred in the hearts of Americans forever. The tragedy itself represents a much larger complication with the problems in the world, the warped thinking that separates us by culture, religion and beliefs. This tragedy represents a complicated mind-set, which hopefully, one day will be washed and made clean.


The root of hatred is fear. The root of fear is ignorance. Committing an act of hatred simply because of a person's religion, nationality, beliefs, or even something as simple as their residence is an ignorant form of action. Killing people because of it, is simply unspeakable.

Yet this type of tragedy is not new to America, but the form of the tragedy rings across the board where all races and nationalities were affected the exact same way, at the exact same time.

Historically, African Americans were beaten, hung, shot, hosed down, raped and burned alive...simply because they were African American. Thousands of African American people were killed, injured and attacked, and an innumerable number died because of slavery. But this only affected one sector of Americans and was actually inflicted by American's themselves.

Are we guilty of being hypocritical? While the tragedy of 9/11 is incomparable and much more serious in reality, but in theory, can it be paralleled to the concept of a minor occurrence such as, "I can fight and beat up my brother or sister but you cannot?" Are we to think that as Americans we can treat our fellow Americans badly, discriminate, perform acts of violence and hate towards each other, simply because one person feels the other person is beneath them...but get upset when someone from another country does the same thing?
 
It is not right when they do it. 
It is not right when we do it to each other. 
It just is not right...no matter what.

While there is nothing good about what happened on 9/11 in any shape or form, like Maya Angelou said, "Still We Rise," and have found a silver lining in moving forward. This incident found a way to bridge the gap between ALL Americans. ALL Americans. There was no color, race, nationality nor religion exempt from this tragedy. The firemen did not go into the building pulling out the White people first and told the Blacks and Mexicans to wait for the "next-go-round." When people were helping to pick up each other from the ground, covered in soot, you could not see the race of a person, everyone was gray.

The United States of America's national song rings true and clear nearly 200 years after it was written (written in 1814). "The Star Spangled Banner" reminds us that when times get hard, we join together and unite and we are ONE nation under God. How much stronger we would be as a country and as a people if we united under this concept in the absence of tragedy? Let us work on forever improving our minds, spirits and souls to continue to make America a better place, extending to make the world a better place as well. God Bless You and God Bless The United States of America.


"...And the rocket's red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave."
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