15 years

It’s the 15th anniversary of when the Twin Towers fell in New York. Already Facebook is filled with flags and pictures of those towers with taglines saying “Never forget.”

Admittedly, I often forget. That event does not occupy every thought from waking until sleep. It has been 15 years after all. 

But on this day, I want to honor those who lost their lives. My way of doing this is to remember.

I want to remember:

  • There was a day that people who hated the United States beyond my capacity to understand sacrificed their lives to hurt our country.
  • The sense of community that resulted from the aftermath of those towers following.
  • The heroes that called from the planes and warned that another might be on its way.
  • That the Twin Towers fell because certain, specific members of an organization hated how different we were from them.
  • Americans come in all different wrappers. Just because someone doesn’t look like they are a citizen doesn’t mean they are not.
  • That many of those who immigrated here who wear hijabs and other Islamic cultural clothing did so because of the terrors caused by the organization that orchestrated the falling of the Twin Towers.
  • Weapons of mass destruction were never found
  • That such a small minority of our world’s population caused the atrocity of the falling of the Twin Towers.
  • That the United States has not had to worry about bombs falling on our soil, well, hardly ever.
  • That in some places, bombs fall all of the time, and some of them have United States stamped upon them.
  • That there is so much good in this world.
  • Love and understanding will help fix many of the problems of the world, not lies, hatred, and war.

There’s a lot more I’d like to remember too. I’m sure those things will occur to me throughout the day. 

But my inspiration for writing this is all of the people who are looking at those “Never Forget” reminders and are getting angry about the hurt that was put upon us. Those who might want to turn that anger on our Islamic brothers and sisters in the U.S. The world is a big place, and yet incredibly small. We must learn to get along together, or it will be our undoing.

Smile at your neighbors. Embrace them. Greet those who look and sound different than you instead of shunning them. Maybe if we all start doing this, we will start to generate greater empathy and understanding.

Maybe we won’t have to worry about a reliving of September 11, 2001.

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