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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.
|| Reverse Sort
| 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.
| How Long Have We Really Been At War? ||Sep 10th. at 1:13:22 pm EDT|
|Green bird (Alaska) ||Age: 37 - Email |
Though I live in remote Alaska, far enough away you'd think, to be protected from the conflicts and confusions of urban life, I also was personally affected by last year's attack on America. My husband, along with scores of other hunters last fall, was out in the wilderness hunting for our food for the year when he found out about the attack. He was able to get out and get home to me all right, but many others were stuck in hunt camps or on remote beaches waiting for flight pickups or getting unexpected military jet escorts and forced landings on their way home. As a health care worker, my husband was and still is very worried about the threat of biological weapons and how we could prepare and protect ourselves and our tiny community against that threat. I have family in that live in NY city and work in Manhattan, luckily, they did not come to any harm other than having to deal with the reality of a war on American soils,in their backyards. America is beginning to realize that we have been at war long before Sept. 11, 2001, it has just has been conventiently hidden away on someone else's shores, in our corporate boardrooms and the back pages of the media reports.
I have read two excellent books this past year that I think are very relevant to this subject. Starhawk's: The Fifth Sacred Thing and Octavia Butler's: Earth Seed
We must heal ourselves from within before healing can begin from without.
| Perspectives Have Changed, But Nothing Else Has. ||Sep 10th. at 1:15:13 pm EDT|
|AshaLuna (Alberta, Canada) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I was watching the news that morning, something I never do, my daughter
usually watches cartoons. But there we all were in front of the tv, my husband
was almost on his way to work, when our regular Edmontonian morning show was
interrupted. And as horrifying as we were, I was not surprised. There are many
here in Canada who hate the States, not the people themselves, just the
government. The biggest reason being that we feel we are being inculturized
we are slowly losing what makes us Canadians, and becoming Americans.
What sickens me most is all the crappy programing I see on tv. I mean
Survivor? Isn't life hard anough that we need to make such a show? Oh and
My latest favorites, the playboy contest show and the Anna Nicole show!!!
ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? Those are perfect examples how ridiculous and decrepit
America is getting. Wasn't 9/11 supposed to make us more connected to
reality? I'm all for patriotism, being proud of your own country is great
and there's not another country prouder then the States. BUT you have to
know when it's appropriate and when you deserve what you get. DO NOT GET
ME WRONG! NO INNOCENT LIFE DESERVES TO BE SNUFFED OUT! I grieve for the
lives lost that day, but my grief is greater for those who died over the
years over there in the Middle East. And don't you realize that people are
still dying, are still tortured, that children are taken way from their
homes and brainwashed into blowing up themselves everyday? That mothers
are terrified of never seeing their children live past the age of 17,
afraid of having children at all? Did you know that women on both sides
of the conflict have joined forces? That they have already appealed for
peace and gone ton the UN but have been ignored?
This shameful war is extending, and how far will it go? Sometimes I wonder
if it wasn't all planned by America's leaders. Some believe they are trying
to infiltrate themselves into the Middle East to take control of the oil and
it's riches. This war is more conplex and multifaceted than a great number
of people don't seem to get. I believe the leaders of this world are all
trying to blind us, the people, so that they can do as they well please,
including using us whithout our realizing and committing crimes against
humanity to get the power they seek so damn desperately.
Yes I fear, but not for myself, I fear for my child and all the children
of this world. What future are we giving them? Violence has never ever been
an answer to anything. It has always lead to more hatred and the creation
of other wounds that 'need' to be avenged. Understanding, compassion are
the only weapons that will lead us to a better future.
Now that 9/11 has forced us out of our bubble, let's look at everyone
that suffers besides ourselves. This has to end, and the way is NOT
through our leaders, but through the people, there is no greater power,
and they know this.
| Us Vs. Them ||Sep 10th. at 2:51:23 pm EDT|
|Moonshadoe/Susan (Nevada, USA) ||Age: 42 - Email |
We were naive when 9/11 happened - no doubt about it. We felt safe; I heard people around me say that other countries were so afraid of the USA that no one would dare attack us. I thought that was a dangerous thought even then - and my feelings haven't changed. Now that we have been attacked, that particular naivete is pretty much gone. It has been replaced by another, and in my mind, a more dangerous and insidious one: the idea that increased "security measures" laid on with a heavy military hand, both at home and abroad, will solve our problems, allay our fears, and make the world a safer place from all those who act, think, talk and look different. The "Us vs. Them" mentality. Will this solve anything though, really? What about homegrown terrorism - Oklahoma wasn't caused by foreign terrorists. Maybe it's time we realized that the Them is Us. We don't have any more of a handle on how to take care of other people's problems than anyone else, and we need to take ourselves out of other people's business and tend to our own. We are Them and They are Us. *sigh* Well, I can always dream, can't I?
May the Lady and Lord enfold us all in Their arms; For we are all Their children.
| It Was Time We Woke Up ||Sep 10th. at 3:07:42 pm EDT|
|Jade November (Duncan, Oklahoma) ||Age: 15 - Email |
Goddess, what hasn't changed since 9/11? Not just American's were affected by this either, but the entire "civilized" world. Have things changed for the good or bad? Both I think. Yes people are, in areas such as New York, a little bit more patient with eachother, but not with the "enemy". The thing that saddens me most, besides the obvious loss, is the hatred you hear of toward people of the muslim faith by those who lost someone that day. In no way am I undermining their loss, whatsoever, merely asking..Does discriminating against the entire race make you any better than them? There's no way to replace what those families, and this nation, lost, but is prejudice the best way to recover?
Again, my intentions are by no means to undermine the loss suffered, but to point out some of the losses AND gains. America, in my opinion, needed to wake up. We needed to realize that there is a world far more cruel than that in which we live beyond the coasts, and the people that suffer daily what we've merely had a taste of, should no longer be neglected. Am I supporting or condoning the acts of September 11? Absolutely not! But America had become far too arrogent for her own good, in my opinion. I completely support the war on terrorism waged by our country, and couldn't be more proud to be an American, but if we allow ourselves to go overboard with this, as is enevitable at this rate, we'll be no better than they are. We'll be the ultimate hypocrites.
Therefore, my proposal is that all Americans and people of other nations learn from this, and for once, prevent history from repeating itself.
(Pardon my poor spelling. :D)
| Candles In The Wind ||Sep 10th. at 3:39:58 pm EDT|
|Kym (Altamonte Springs, Florida) ||Age: 25 - Email |
One of my favorite songs is "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John. The tragic events of a year ago made me feel like we are all candles in the winds, not knowing where to turn when it rains. My eyes still tear up when I think about the events of that day. My sister, Katherine, works in the section of the Pentagon where the plane stuck. She wasn't at work that day and so my family was spared, but the tied up phones lines prevented us from knowing that for hours. My other sister, Tish, also works in D.C. and travels through the Pentagon Metro station on a daily basis. The very thought that I could have lost them both that day still upset me. And reminds me that we never has a much time as we would like with those that we love. September 11 has changed my life, but it does not terrified me, becuase I refuse to let the terroist win. I will not live in fear. This September 11, I will light a white candle in memory of those that die that day and those that have died protecting our freedoms.
I am proud to be an American, but September 11 did not create that pride it serve to show me how precious life is and swiftly our lives can come to an end. Even with my love of country, I do not believe in the war on terrorism when it serves to take the freedoms that Americans have fought and died for away. I can not support a war that takes aim a individuals on nonsensical whims. Which is why I intend to vote today and why I am writing to let my representative know where I stand on todays issues. I may be a candle in wind, but I intend to burn as brightly as I can before wind and rain come and find me.
Blessed Be and Thank you,
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