Saturday, November 8, 2008

What Did They Think That September Day?

Today's September 11th and I am reminded of the sadness that I have felt since that day seven years ago for the families that have had to go on without their loved ones.

Like so many, I think about the shock of realizing that day that we had been attacked. I remember being afraid and having this horrible ache inside that just wouldn't go away. And then I remember getting mad and feeling the need to strike back. I think the anger was necessary in the beginning to keep from giving way to the fear. And then I remember feeling pride in our country and knowing that we had come from good stock and that we would get through this. I had always been patriotic but what I now felt was much stronger and much deeper. I felt that I had taken being an American for granted and now I needed to step up to the plate and show my appreciation for living in a country that offered the freedoms that we have grown accustomed to. This was the first time that I felt the debt of those who fought to give us that freedom weighing heavily on my shoulders.

I'd like to say that I've done remarkable things since that realization but in fact I've simply changed the way I live my life. I've always been generous with money and willing to donate to worthy causes. Now I feel that I also have to be generous in spirit and with my words and my time. I no longer hold grudges and forgiving people for any injustices (both real and perceived) is so easy now. I simply get up every day and start over. I've learned tolerance where I didn't have a lot before. None of this may seem to have anything to do with what happened that day but somehow in my mind being thankful and tolerant and compassionate seemed to be my way of proving that terrorists couldn't destroy our way of life. It was my way of fighting back. Their hatred of us is what drove them to commit such heinous acts. Hating them back couldn't be the answer for me.

I played around with poetry when I was a teenager because I think it was a necessary outlet for all those emotions that we go through as teens but I had not even thought about writing it since then. For some reason though, I felt the need to write this. I don't submit it with any thoughts of it being "poetry". It's just my thoughts and feelings two days after what I consider to be a moment in time that changed me and my outlook on life.

What did they think that September day?
That taking our loved ones away would kill our Spirit....
When they struck on that beautiful, perfect September day,
Did they think that destroying buildings
Would make the American people sway
From the democratic principles that we live by?
Did the hatred in their hearts cloud their judgement?
Did they honestly think on that September day
that they would make us give in to terror, to hatred, to fear?
That we would abandon our pride, our love of freedom?
They should know form our History that this would not be true.
Freedom is our way of life and we've always sacrificed
Our lives when necessary for it to prevail.
What did they think that September day?

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