Ten years ao today I was laying in bed with my girlfriend at the time, DimBrilliance. We were woken by a phone call from her mother. I don't need to tell you why she was calling. That day was a tragedy. It truly was. Since then she and I have moved on. She and I are living on opposite ends of the country, but we share something special. We've both become happy, successful people that lead productive lives.
The trouble with reccognizing this day, almost like a national holiday, is that so many people are celebrating it with a sense of patriotism. I completely disagree with that. Today is the anniversary of a great tragedy in the history of our country not a day to scream and wave flags. I know a lot of people disagree with me.
The point of terrorism is to put fear into the hearts of the people it strikes. In this way, I think the terrorists from that day succeeded far better than they ever hoped. They tapped into America's greatest weakness- our fear of things unlike ourselves. Since that time we have gone into a war, one I dont agree with, and it has divided our country. Since that time, extremists in my own country have had louder voices, ones that more and more people agree with. We've forgotten what we are, what we are supposed to represent.
Our country was founded on the ideas of personal freedom, religious freedom. Our founding fathers were radical thinkers. Today, they wouldn't stand a chance in the political arena. You see, they're too out there. I am disappointed as I look at Facebook posts proclaiming "support out troops" and "repost if you support one nation under GOD" because I see where we are headed and its disappointing. I believe in one nation under god, but my god may be different than yours. I want us to worship as we see fit. I want my muslim friends to be unafraid and proud of their faith. I believe in supporting our troops. They're doing what they think is right. They're brave people. But I also believe in supporting love instead of war, and in truth over dogma. We have too much of that. I don't think we need to wipe out all the muslims. I think we need to wipe away all of the hate.
I'm lucky to live in a country where I have a relatively free access to the rights other people enjoy. I know that. I'm a proud american most days. I'm also a proud witch. I am also a proud lesbian. And those last two things will for some time set me apart because people where I live are afraid of things not just like them. Its a shame.
I hope today that we can mourn. The people who died on September 11, 2001 didn't die for my freedom. They didn't die for America. They died in a sensless act of cruelty designed to weaken our country. So far, their deaths are in vain, because we haven't taken their sacrifice to heart. We've responded to the terrorists in like, with hate and fear. What a difference we could have made if we had chosen to act differently.
I want to mention this before I go. I work for a woman (Mrs Boss) who is as different from me as could be politically and religiously. She and believe separate faiths. We have different ideas in politics. She's a heterosexual and I am not. I am fortunate, because despite these differences we are able to love and accept eachother . We can work together and appreciate eachother. We respect the differences we have. I respect her immensly. She treats me with respect as well. To me, Mrs Boss is a true American patriot. She loves her country, she loves the life she lives, but she also loves and respects people who are radically different from her. That takes more courage than firing a gun or protesting in front of a mosque. Every day she makes a difference in her emploees lives and in my life, because she chooses to love rather than hate. I wish there were more people out there like her. Our world would be a vastly different place if there were.
Today I will take time to grieve for the suffering of the survivors of the attacks. I will remember the families who lost loved ones. I will celebrate the new lives of those who went to the Summerlands. But I refuse to take time to hate, because there has been so much of that already. What my country truly needs now is compassion and wisdom. Tonight, when I pray, that will be what I pray for.
I hope all of you are able to take a moment today and think of how your life would be different if you took a moment to hate less, and love more. I'm not perfect. I hate too. I'm trying to work on that. I hope you will also. That should be our true goal.