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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 76 - 9/8/2002
America 911: One Year Later. What's Changed? Are we Safer?
September 11th, 2001 set in motion various changes in the way that people view the world. From personal tragedies to governmental policies to global military actions, many stories have emerged from that one fateful day. Has YOUR life changed since 9/11/01? How has the world changed? Are you feeling more or less secure these days? Do you think that 9/11 is too much the focus for current events/ policies or are we really living in a different world today? Will the 'war on terror' ever be over? Will you do something to commemorate this day or do you just wish that all of the hype would go away?
You can review the original posts from last year's 9/11 Perspectives at: Responses to 9/11
| Reponses: There are 103 responses posted to this question.
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| Innocence Lost ||Sep 9th. at 2:08:55 pm EDT|
|Ka'aper Abydos (Long Beach, CA) ||Age: 45 - Email - Web|
As I believe was true with all Americans, I was shocked and horrified at the death of thousands of innocent people whose only crime was being American. I wanted vengeance and bloodshed. I marched in rallies and flew the flag (which unlike a lot of people, I had ALWAYS done).
I was fairly new to Witchcraft then and luckily did not know a lot about vengance and attack, or I would have been tempted to use them and damn the consequences.
It sharpend my realization of what fanaticism and twisted interpretations can drive people to do. Islam suffered its blackest eye in my opinion at that time. I have Muslim friends who were just as horrified as I was. This corruption of what the Koran teaches made them furious. Islam, like Christianity, is supposed to be about love and tolerance. But just as the Christians did with the Crusades and the Inquisition, so now do some Muslims see this as a holy cause. But in reality, they are being manipulated by people whose only goal is power and to force all others to believe as they do.
Rather than hate them anymore, I pity them for their blindness. Does this mean we should not fight the so-called war on terrorism? No. But let us not kill the innocent to get the guilty.
"I once was lost, but now I see". Karma will take its course with the guilty and the innocent.
| People Are Becoming Better, Politics Becoming Worse... ||Sep 9th. at 3:07:48 pm EDT|
|Raven Feather (United States) ||Age: 20 - Email |
what i have seen since Sept. 11th makes me believe that most people in the world are becoming better, wiser, but that that movement is facing the quashing influence of corrupt politics, which are becoming more corrupt by the day. it will be a close call which philosophy wins out, the philosophy of peace, love, and tolerance or the philosophy of hatred, fear, and indifference. still i think that for all the attrocious behavior that has been witnessed post-9/11, in the end the world will become a better place, because it can not take much more i think before the people of the Earth cry out for a better world to be wrought for we and our descendents. 9/11 has brought us much wander and much horror in it's aftermath, but in the long run i think it has been the greatest eye-opener for humanity.
| Here We Go Again ||Sep 9th. at 3:46:50 pm EDT|
|Cat (Asheville, NC) ||Age: 35 - Email |
God(dess.) I think I feel worse now than I did a year ago; when I look at national and international events, especially the ones Wren documents this week, I am so scared, and so depressed. It sticks in my keyboard to write this cliche, but I do love America; I love the physical landscape, which could've been paradise, and I love the ideal of democracy, even when I know what we've done with it. But if I travelled abroad I'd be ashamed to admit it. I know what we look like out there, and what we look like is really pretty accurate.
Like many others here, I feel that nothing has changed on a national scale (unlike the changes in the lives of the survivors.) The powerful keep accruing more power, and the weak keep fighting over the scraps. It's always been that way and I'm really afraid that it always will be. What's changed isn't the death of thousands, but something that started a long time before: the birth of billions. When you have uncontrolled population growth, it's a lot harder to get away from the people who have too much stuff and want everyone else's stuff. It's a lot harder to say that there's enough stuff to go around, and a lot harder to believe in the nonhuman world surviving our depredations.
These feelings aren't the result of my warped life, either: I have a really nice life, probably a lot nicer than I deserve. I can make meaning of my life, especially with the help of paganism. I can arrange my own feelings to my satisfaction, whether that means vengeance or forgiveness, since I have nothing to personally avenge or forgive. But what does that matter, when most of the world can't have these luxuries, and when my having them helps to maintain that status quo? What does it matter what any of us thinks? Is our thinking going to change the power dynamics of the whole overpopulated world? Is it going to make the powerful behave more responsibly? I'd say that only violence can achieve that, but I'm not sure that even violence can. Maybe nothing can.
I know that one tenet of paganism is that what we think can make a difference. Today, though, I just can't believe it. In America, even our faith is a luxury item--one more mark of our leisure and privilege.
| Things Have Changed ||Sep 9th. at 8:38:36 pm EDT|
|Merricat Wing (Hinckley, Il. USA) ||Age: 45 - Email |
A year later and things have changed. I turn on the television now, not looking for a weather report, or the latest happenings on my soap opera; I turn it on looking for a sign that the world is at Peace(and hoping no other terrible terrorist attack has occured). Today I watched the replay of 9/11/01. I heard the survivors stories, and the families of the victims speaking of their loved ones forever lost to them in this life. I cried my tears again. Tears of loss, of fear, of such great sadness. The people of my government are trying to find answers, unfortunately some look to war. We were all saddened and horrified a year ago, and now our leaders are talking about bringing that saddness and terror to another group of people. I don't understand. I really don't understand. Why can't we all get along? Why can't we accept our differences? And enjoy and learn from those differences? What has happened to the world? What has happened to this country-United States of America? I love my country, but I don't blindly follow its leaders into War. I can only hope and pray that someone out there is looking for peace besides me.
| We Must Act ||Sep 9th. at 10:42:58 pm EDT|
|Daniel (Midwest USA) ||Age: 49 - Email |
The events of last year did not change my view of the world. I am a proud Vietnam Vet. I served my country And I have always known that their are nations and peoples that hate America and Americans. I know that there are groups that hold no lives scared but there group. I hate that I have to say this but sometimes violence is the answer. I have seen the death and distruction of war. I have smelled the death. I HATE war. I hate it in a way that only those that have been in one can. May the Gods of Peace forgive me but to stop these cowardly terroist,to protect those that can not protect themselves ( children and the harmless ) WE must act and act now. It is time to call to Thor and Odin and Tyr. We must prevail.
| Over It ||Sep 10th. at 1:40:38 am EDT|
|pheonix solitaire (st. cloud fl) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I dont mean to sound callous, but I'm almost sick of hearing about 9/11. Reminding the world of the tragedy twelve times a day everyday is no way to help the situation and to get on with our lives.
| Forever Changed ||Sep 10th. at 10:48:06 am EDT|
|Sistersea (Ferndale Washington) ||Age: 40 - Email |
One year ago on the morning of Sept 11th I was awakened at by a phone call from my sister, telling me to turn on the news. I was anticipating flying out to New York City, the city of my birth later that morning with my small son, daughter and my Mother. We were going to make a long planned visit with my Mothers family. I will never forget turning on the television and seeing the first tower of the World Trade Center with a gaping hole in it. I sank to my knees when the pictures of the second plane hitting the second tower came over the screen. I received a call from my 86 year old grandmother shortly thereafter who sobbed with relief to know that we were not in the air and then sobbed with the fear of one who had experience a similar attack called Pearl Harbor. I walked around in shock cancelling our flights, fielding calls from concerned friends and relatives from around the world. Trying at the sametime to comfort and assure my 6 year old and find someway to explain to her why we were not going to be getting on a plane to see great grandmother, knowing at the same time that we were going to war. Not knowing what that senario would mean to this country.
It took me months to come to terms with the events of Sept 11th some things about that day I may never come to terms with.
I savor every day with my children and my family and know with a much more acute sense that tomorrow is not a guarantee. I have less tolerance of intolerance, in myself or others. I will never feel that almost arrogant sense of security that we as Americans seemed to feel prior to Sept 11th. I have deepened my committment and appreciation of my Pagan spirituality and take greater comfort in our Pagan community. I have choosen to become more politically active toward fundementalisim in our country and abroad regardless of which religion.
I am forever changed. I am choosing to be changed in a positive way as my personal tribute to our fallen.
| Goblins ||Sep 10th. at 11:32:17 am EDT|
|Jeff Dixon (Texas) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
this is a piece I wrote when the attacks happened, thought I would share it with you all
I still haven’t heard if an old friend of mine was near the pentagon, and I keep hearing these little signs - a person’s description, a pilot’s name that matches that of an old classmate and shit, are they related? - that gives me pause to think I’m connected with this more than I want to be. And it’s things like that, things that I can't rationally figure that unsettle me. I’m scared that something is going to shatter through the window above my desk and reach in and grab me, or something’s going to break down my door and tear me from my home. That something’s going to reach up and take me as I lay in bed and that I won’t be able to do anything about it. Scared that the walls of this place aren’t strong enough, scared that I won’t be able to pull my covers tight enough, scared that there’s a big red target on my head and something is going to rain down from the sky and squash me. You hear jets sporadically now, flying overhead. I never thought that the sound of a jet would frighten me.
But I’m not going to keep thinking like that. All of us are right now, to some degree, but we’re all not going to keep thinking like that. Because we know that nothing is going to break through the windows because we know that what is here is too strong, and we know that this shall pass like all other things and like all other things we will be standing at the end, together and vital as one. It’ll all be okay, not because it has to be and not because it just will but because man can never be defeated by that which is less than him.
And maybe in a little while, if we’ve still got some smart ass left in us, we'll be able to laugh again.
| We've Joined The World In Living With Terror ||Sep 10th. at 11:43:09 am EDT|
|Amy (Germantown, Maryland) ||Age: 33 - Email |
My husband and I were in Armagh, Northern Ireland on September 11th last year, having just spent a pleasurable hour or two with the organist and choir director. He sang several songs and we did Ave Maria together. It was beautiful and lovely to be in that old church and feel such community, and then to emerge into the hatred of the Terrorist attacks in New York and the Pentagon.
The sad thing is that we have now lost our naivety. The rest of the world deals with kidnappings, terrorism, pipe bombs, etc. every day. My husband is a DNA guy and our friends are forensics experts across the globe. How strange is it to go into a lab and see the pipe bomb that a 14 year old brought to school for the IRA? Or for the Orangemen? It is just sad that we are now there. There is also the disbelief, and the anger that we are now having to change, to upgrade in a way, to protect ourselves in a way that we never had before.
When we fly, there are so many people who get ticked off because they have to take off their shoes or drink their water, or what have you. Waiting in lines for security purposes has become routine for those of us who travel frequently but is culture shock for those that don't. We need to practice patience, love and understanding, for the terrorists practice hatred. Their "God" teaches them to "kill the infidels". My Gods teach me to love, and to "harm none". This is something that I just didn't understand, and understand it even less after reading the Koran, a beautiful book with wonderful messages.
But the things that bothers me the most, is that we continue to disregard our own prejudices here in America. How many of us have been looked at strangely or threatened to "go to hell" for wearing our pentagrams? The religious right continues to threaten a woman's right to choose. Born Agains, insist that it's their way or the high way, but many of them threaten those people who are of a different color, even if they share the same religion. It just makes no sense. Every part of my day is praying for peace and love. At the monastery here in Maryland, there are chanting prayers 24 hours a day for peace and love. With all that magick, prayer, and wishful thinking for peace and love, I long for it to happen.
The one good thing to come of September 11th is that we recognized that we need to spend more time with our families and friends. That certain relationships should be treasured. Neighborhoods and cities became warmer and friendlier places. People took a look outside their little circle of life and saw a bigger circle. We all pitched in, and it made us stronger. We still feel that way, not just about our friends, relatives and neighbors, but about our country as a whole. And in this we will slowly heal.
Now, if we could just get Bushy Boy off the warpath...
| More Bad Than Good. ||Sep 10th. at 11:49:54 am EDT|
|Willow (Groveland, CA) ||Age: 35 - Email - Web|
The good change has been more of a sense of community... unless you're Arab American. Or part of a "suspect" group. Or part of the "fringe"... whatever that means.
I suppose I shouldn't continue to be surprised by how quick the people ruling America act to supress personal freedoms the moment something bad happens. It's almost like it's an excuse to do what they've been seeking all along.....
Whats that quote...? "Those who sacrifice freedom to gain a little security deserve neither..." I think that was good ol' Ben Franklin.
| America Land Of The Free...And Fearful. ||Sep 10th. at 12:01:56 pm EDT|
|Lady SnowWolfe (Georgia) ||Age: 43 - Email |
We as a country are naive. We have been for many years now.
For some reason we allowed ourselves to be fooled into
believing that we were ammune to terriorism. Even after the
first attack on the World Trade Center...we being who we are
thought that they would never try it again.
We live in this false world of security, believing that the
world is afraid of us, because after all, we are America!
What a wake-up call 9/11 was for us. It is just a pity that
so many innocent people had to die and so many other innocent
lives had to be changed forever just so we could find out
just how vulnerable we truly are.
Wake up America! We are not invincible. We are not ammune.
What we are is a part of an ever changing world. A world
in which evils that we try to pretend do not exist can come up
and bite us in the backside with little or no notice.
It is time that we as Americans take resposibility for our
own protection. We need to stand up and tell our congress and
our government that it is time to get out of those other
countries, and mind our own business. I mean after all
we have enough problems here with out borrowing other
countries problems as well. Build our might within our country
and stop sending it off to other countries that will eventually
just use it against us. Trust me if left to stew in their own
juices for a while, left without the help of America and
American dollars, the other countries will eventually have
no choice but to come running back to America. It will be
either that or starve.
As for our country. We allowed 9/11 to happen. We become
complaicent. We were so assured of our own might that we
let our defenses down. We are on guard now...I just hope that
is of some comfort to all those children and families who
lost members and loved ones because we became to trusting.
| Forced Patriotism ||Sep 10th. at 12:18:25 pm EDT|
|Edanna (mass) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I've been thinking of this the whole year.And comming apon the 11th I feel I have to get this off my chest. I grew up in a family that flew the flag at every holliday asking the flag to be flown,my dad being a Vietnam vet flies the flag to remember his fallen friends and to respect other vets.
Well what really made me annoyed is that after Sept11th all of a sudden people "became" patriotic practailly overnight. People who NEVER flew the flag were now running out to any store possoble to get a flag. Maybe it's me but Shouldn't people have had flags in the first place???
I guess it was the way I was braught up. It just felt that to me people were being patriotic because it was the "thing to do" at the time.
Patriotism is something someone feels in their hearts. Not whats in styal at the moment.
If you've always flown the flag,good....If you ran out to get one just because your
neighbor had one , Shame on you!!! The flag should be flown on all the hollidays it
is asked...not when you feel like it.
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