Sunday, September 13, 2009

My thoughts on 9/11

This year, 9/11 seemed harder to get through than the past years...

For me, it was much more difficult; I don't want to be cliched and I certainly don't want to sound like some of the sterile news reporting that happened on 9/11/09.

On 9/11/01, I lived in Southern California. I was on the water polo team that used to have a mandatory morning swim (at some ridiculous hours... think 5-7 am). Every morning, we would be in the pool, with the radio on, doing sets. We only had the radio on so that we could have something to keep us distracted when we poked our heads out of the water between sets, but we never really listened to it. Around a half hour or an hour into the swim, I remember my coach stopping all of us from swimming so we could listen to the crackly radio... something about a tower in New York getting hit by an airplane. It made no sense. We all had too many questions and no answers.

The attacks did not personally affect me; that is to say, nobody in my immediate world was killed by the twin towers falling... But I was an emotional wreck.

We take safely for granted. We take freedom for granted. We take not being attacked on home turf for granted.

This event challenged my world view in many ways. As a non-citizen (read: LEGAL RESIDENT), who has lived her entire life in the United States, I would argue that I am more patriotic and more passionate about this country than some of those who have been born to your "rights" as a citizen of this incredible country. It's not just because i'm dating military. It's because the United States is still a symbol for hope and my symbol of home. [As a side note, my journey of not knowing "who" I am in the world has made me come to the conclusion that whether I am a citizen of a particular country doesn't matter, only that I pledge allegiance when appropriate.]

So, 9/11 tested my young (NAIVE) thoughts... as it did many.

I can't imagine what it was like to live through it on this side of the country. I now live in the DC area, I take the Metro from the Pentagon every day to get to work. This year on 9/11, the weather was completely crappy. It poured for the first time this year, and it seemed appropriate. I got to the Pentagon and for no apparent reason, was moved to tears. It's not something I can explain; I am dumbfounded by people who think they can terrorize others into submission... and to choose the United States?

I was also moved because I thought of all of the people who lost their lives on the day and the days following the tragic attack.

But my final thoughts as I dragged myself on the Metro was, "what have we learned in 8 years?" What will we do from here? How are we impacting the world at large?

I know that question is answered directly by my Military Mafia friends. Our Troops, our intelligence community and many others are ensuring our freedom. For the rest us civilians, what are we doing? What have we learned so we don't perpetuate hate in the world?

I urge you to think about the world you love a little more today...

my 3 things:
1) My precious puppy who makes me laugh
2) Flowers that I got from TJs
3) My Shan who is getting married, joining the Military community!

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