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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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| Sirens And Rain. ||Sep 11th. at 7:45:06 am EDT|
|Kevin (Ottawa, Canada) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I would have to say that 9/11 had a profound effect on my life this past year, but not in a good way. I have pondered many times over the last 12 months about what makes the human spirit stronger and what destroys it...but I have no answers.
I work on the 7th floor of a downtown office building in Ottawa, Canada and have always heard the sirens as the police or fire trucks race by towards a scene. Before 9/11, I took little notice of them. They were a part of the background noise. After that day in September, sirens cause me to stop whatever I am doing and wonder about the accident or fire they are racing towards, about the people involved, about whether or not something has gone horribly wrong...again.
It's raining now. The skies are very dark here in Ottawa. Drops of water slap against my window. The sirens have quieted themselves for a little while this day. I hope Americans find some peace, perhaps even an answer or two.
| Remembering ||Sep 11th. at 8:57:50 am EDT|
|Shalie (Georgia, USA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I would just like to take this moment to express my great sorrow with the rest of my nation.
May Goddess and Gods bless those HEREOS that have been guided to the Summerlands and year ago today, They will never be forgotten.
Much Love and Blessings
| Exactly One Year Later ||Sep 11th. at 8:58:32 am EDT|
|Thunder Mouse (Saint Joseph Missouri) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I just finnished wishing the most important person in my life a good day at work, and told her that I love her. Iv told her that a hundered times, but, I got the fealing that for both of us, This time was special. I plan to spend today probably like alot of other americans watching the TV to see how the rest of the world is today. But for the most part and since I have the day off, I intend to spend the majority of the day out doing something I love. takeing pictures. I will enjoy today, and I will remember.
| One Year Later... ||Sep 11th. at 10:02:38 am EDT|
|magdelena (Ft. Drum, NY) ||Age: 37 - Email |
Interestingly enough, it took me quite a while to write this all down. My perspective on these events then and now will probably be far different than many of yours.
I was shocked to hear of the events last September 11. My husband called me from his workplace, asking if he had been activated by the NY National Guard yet. Puzzled, I told him he had not – but why? When he told me what had happened I didn’t believe him at first. But when I saw – well, naturally, I was in shock.
However, unlike the complete emotional devastation I have heard coming from so many people, I went into a mode that I knew best – the role of the military wife. You hear the news. You understand the news. You take over and carry on. For the next 24 hours I fielded phone calls from friends, loved ones and my husband’s National Guard Troops and their wives regarding their call-up. I gave directions. I dealt with chain-of-command-issues. I allayed concerns and fears.
As a military wife – as some of you here might understand – one of the key components of your job (and, yes, it *is* a job) is to keep things together. You have to carry on as usual and keep up strength and morale for your husband, your family, and those around you. You cannot crumple up under "emotional devastation” as there are far too many people depending on you to hold up a sense of normalcy.
So why did I bother writing all this down? Simply, because of my position, I was labeled “cold” and “unfeeling” by some of the general public that I came in contact with --- none of whom had ever had any experience dealing with the military. I have spent my whole life connected with the military in some way shape or form. I remember sending my career military father to Vietnam for three tours, leaving my mother to raise two small children in the face of citizens who called her names and spat at her because we were military; I sent a husband and a slew of troops to Somalia and saw some of our friends never return home; now, back fulltime with the active military, many of my friends have had their husbands deployed here and back to Afghanistan for 8 months at a time.
Yes, we personally lost friends in NYC…and I don’t forget the friends we lost at the Pentagon, either. Dear friends of mine lost a whole fire company at the WTC. But, I don’t find it productive to live in the past. You need to move forward.
How has my life changed? Well, we are back fulltime active duty – indefinitely and by choice. I have eliminated negative people from my life – which has made my existence a brighter place. But other than that – nothing drastic has changed. I am centered. I have my priorities in order. And I REFUSE TO LIVE IN FEAR AND HATE.
| Remember Loss, Love Life ||Sep 11th. at 10:42:04 am EDT|
|Molly Sumner (Drew University Madison NJ) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
Today we remember each person who was lost one year ago. Today we also need to remember how important and precious each of those lives was and how precious our own lives are. No matter who you are you are important and your life is important. Today do just remember, but love. Love life and live it, live it for those who had theirs cut short.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Nothing ||Sep 11th. at 10:42:56 am EDT|
|Sabrina (Ft Polk, LA) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I would love to pontificate on how things have changed since 9/11 for the positive in spirituality and tolerance. But from where I sit, albeit the ultra conservative bible belt, and a military installation none the less...nothing has changed. If anything people are even more hyper vigilant in their restricted views of people and faiths. 9/11 has brought an onslaught of misplaced zionistic anger. If anything since 9/11 here in Louisiana people have become even more intolerant of anyone not white, christian and conservative. I have heard countless dissertations by everyone from people in the grocery line, to invocations at public festivals of people saying that atheists should all go live in Afghanistan, and innuendo that the new age movement brought the attacks on the US.
What I really had hoped to see when this attack occurred was an awakening. An awakening to the bubble we live in as Americans. I had hoped that people would begin to ask the bigger question...of why. To say the terrorists were cowards seriously underestimates their conviction. No one feels that strongly about anything without there being a reason...and that my friends is the real rub. Until it is no longer a necessity to join a terrorist camp so your family gets food, and doesn't get shot, as it is for most Afghani's then terrorism will exist. Starving, war ridden people will do next to anything just to survive. I thought we had learned that in the lesson of Nazi Germany.
I'm a military wife, as someone said earlier its a hefty job. I love my country. But I also love my constitution. I hate that 9/11 has brought new depth to the religious rights arguments against freedom of speech and seperation of church and state. Without both of which we will never be free.
And while I appreciate the huge outcry for fireman getting larger salaries, they enter at 30k a year...I find it hard to justify when my husband as an E5 with 8 years of service barely makes 25k. If anything positive can come from this money wise, let it be that people finally understnad the value of service. For all that serve. Police, soldiers, emt, rescue and firefighters...what they are all paid is humorous at best.
| Under Siege ||Sep 11th. at 10:57:24 am EDT|
|Filomena Sophia (Duluth, MN) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I think that we are forgetting something important here. Yes, Muslim-Americans have been watched more closely, but so have we. WE as PAGANS have been under siege. This is not just blowing hot air. I stood on the front steps of our state's capitol building this past spring while Evangelical Christians hijacked our national day of prayer--which is supposed to be euceumenical--and took it for their own. Theoretically, anyone should be allowed to speak to any deity of choice, but I personally did not feel safe as I held my Celtic Reconstructionist friend's prayer to the Morrigan in my hand. I knew that, should I read it, I would be taking my life in my own hands. I stood and listened while bitter, self-riteous Fundamentalist Christians blamed our country for the actions of a few obviously insane individuals who committed these heinous acts. They claimed that their god smited our country because we were beginning to worship, and I quote "false gods, instead of the one, true God." I have watched in amazement and shock as President Bush attempted to turn this country into a Christian theorcracy; as Fundamentalist right-winged benign conservatives stole our national symbol and claimed it as their new Christian cult symbol; as people screamed for freedom while all the while irrationally working against it. I have watched people act out of fear more often than I have truly witnessed them act out of love. I have watched all of the progress we as Pagans had made during the 1990's so quickly dashed away. Truly, I say to everyone that Pagans and Heathens, Wiccans and Witches were surely killed on that fateful day a year ago--but I have yet to see that acknowledged. Instead, I have watched as conservative, right-winged Evangelical Christians have used this horrible tragedy to further their own agenda. It is frightening and I have been scared many times in the past year. So, if what I write here is hate speech, then so be it. But I am saying this because I no longer trust our elected officials to support MY freedom. I no longer feel safe as a Witch in this country; as a Pagan in this country. It has never been easy, but it has been even harder this past year. Too many people are using the events of one year ago today to strike more fear into the hearts of too many others. Our freedoms are being taken away and no one seems to be noticing. It is subtle but it is there.
| One Year Ago Today ||Sep 11th. at 10:59:00 am EDT|
|Nightcloud (Minnesota USA) ||Age: 48 - Email |
There are and have been so many thoughts and feelings flowing through me for the past year that I can't write them coherently as prose, so forgive me if this is a bit disjointed.
First I really had trouble believing so many Americans felt safe, it just amazed me that people bought all the hype, that most people didn't bother to look beyond the media nonsense and see the truth. Most of the rest of the world hates us! We also do a very good job of hating each other; which is why I didn't feel safe before Sept. 11, 2001 and I don't feel safe now.
Secondly, I'm angry at the people and organizations that were behind the attack, not only did they murder 3000 people, they also destroyed about 50 years worth of social strides forward. Underneath all the media pro American hype, the uglier side of America has begun rearing it's head. Racial tension across the country is up, sexism is up, homophobia is up and religous intolerance is way up. It's unfortunate but true that with the increase in Christian feeling, there is also an increase in right-wing Christian retoric, and this is where all the hatred and intolerance come from.
Thirdly, there were a couple of important studies that came out on Sept, 9th and 10th last year, I believe one had to do with the long term effects of childhood sexual abuse. After Sept 11th, nothing more has been heard, seen or talked about these studies. I've looked and looked; so not only did we step backward, but any steps forward have been put on hold for an indiffinet time.
Last and in this case last is paramount in importance, I grieve for the tens of thousands who will die, both military and non, both American and non, if we truly go to war.
I have no clue as to what Bin Laden and his group, (or who ever was responsible), hoped to accomplish, but what they did was to make an already intolerant people more intolerant. To bring out all the nastiest parts of the American psyche and to stir the entire country up to a point where going to war is not only a viable but actually something people are encouraging the government to pursue. If other people wanted Americans to grow up, to become aware this accomplished it, however, I think the rest of the world has forgotten a lesson; Americans aren't nice and they really aren't nice when they go to war.
I'm hopeful that we will not be attacked again, that our rights won't be further reduced and that the furor will die down. If we are attacked again, I hold no hope for Americans nor for the rest of the world.
| I'm Crying ||Sep 11th. at 10:59:42 am EDT|
|Cindy White (Tampa, Florida) ||Age: 38 - Email |
I'm crying. As I sit here and watch the memorials to all the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I sit here and feel their pain. Do I feel safer,you ask. I guess that depends on what kind of safe. Physically safe or keeping our rights as Americans safe? I want to think that no one will be able to fly planes into buildings ever again. I want to think that. Will it happen again? Time tells all tales. I'd like to hope that our tax dollars have been going for something worthwhile. (besides covering up the alien conspiracy). I'd like to think that just cause we got caught with our pants down (who would ever think someone would actually make planes and people bombs)we won't get caught ever again. "Fool me once,..." Is is worth giving up all my rights as an American? I'm reading the government can come into my house without my knowledge or permission. They can detain me indefinately and not let me see or know about witnesses. Now as a law-abiding citizen that shouldn't bother me because I have nothing to hide and this is a time of war. This stuff only applies to bad-guys. But does it? What if I have a fanatic religious neighbor who sees my "Born Again Pagen" bumper sticker and decides that the witch should burn in hell and I'll show her. She watches the tv-evangelists that said it was partly the Pagens fault that 9/11 happened and tv-evangelists, espeically the ones she gives money to would never lie.. So she calls the citizen-spy hotline and makes up some crazy story. Now. I'd like to think that what would happen would be as it would have been before September 11, 2001. The police would see the situation for what it was (Thou post 9/11 I was followed once with my daughter in the car by what had to be someone who didn't like my sticker. Because of my daughter,I wussed out and covered it with "Reach out and heal Mother Earth". Much less witchy. Thou I must say I consider myself a "wanna-be". I haven't learned enough to call myself a wise-woman.) a crank call from a no-life individual. Or would they come in, see my alter and wonder if I'm casting spells against the President or whoever. 'Cause my neighbor said I told her I was. It scares me to go any farther in this speculation. If something so trivial could actually blow up into a full-blown fiasco then yes, I'm a bit scared. I was just getting used to calling myself a pagen with shamlessness. We can't be burned at the stake anymore. Or can we? It scares me that this is becoming a war of religions. None of them mine. The "Our way is the only way to Heaven" attitude of others baffels me. If everyone could only look upon any positive belief as a good one. I understand the need for "sheep mentality" to control masses and make lots of money, but geez... Christian, Muslim and Jew...What is wrong with you? Each on their own, without the extemists, is a peaceful religion. Which at times co-existed with each other in peace. Any positive belief is a good belief. I have hope for the future that we will all learn to live together again. We, as a world, will feed the hungry, care for the sick, and house the poor with dignity and respect. We'll get past all this violence in the name of God. People will realize they've been missing the point. I can only hope, pray and try to keep informed. Though the more I stay informed the more uneasy I become. Heck, we still can't vote honestly/correctly in Floriduh. (I had no problems). We have to believe in a positive outcome of all this. Maybe the Goddess(es) will make a world-wide appearance and enlighten all those male-dominated religions that have made such a mess of things. "Hey, remember Me?" Some of your people do.. Time tells all tales. Thanks for letting me vent. Peace be with all of us.
| Goddess Bless America ||Sep 11th. at 11:12:33 am EDT|
|Witch Hazel (New York City) ||Age: 45 - Email |
This day hits me hard. I will not watch the events on TV--I can't. I'm at my desk now, as I was on 9/11 last year. I can hear the names of the departed souls being recited on the TV in the conference room next to me. Yesterday I went to vote. Only one other person was voting. Anyone can buy a flag, wave a flag, recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" and chant "God Bless America" all day long. But in NYC, only yesterday, 9/10, could anyone vote in the Primary Election. Last year, the Primary was held on 9/11 and had to be canceled because of the tragic events. I guess its easier to buy the flags than it is to walk two blocks to the polling place and flip some levers. Thank you for allowing me to rant.
On a positive note, I lost no one that I personally knew in the WTC. My friends all escaped. My office is located in Midtown, so even though we were kept inside for several hours, the horror witnessed by my friends downtown was only viewed on television by me. I thank the Goddess for her many blessings, I pray that the souls released on 9/11 found their way to the summerland, including the spirits of the beautiful Twin Towers that had been destroyed.
May the love of the Goddess be forever in our hearts. Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again. Bright Blessings to you all.
| Define Change... ||Sep 11th. at 11:56:14 am EDT|
|Gyrfalcon (Colorado) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Has my life changed? Depends on what you mean by that. Certainly my day-to-day activities are still the same: work, eat, clean, play, etc. I still pay bills and brush my teeth. I find the most fundamental change is one of normal healthy growth. Even more than ever, I am defining what is important to me. I took a little more time to set priorities in my life. Yet as a Gaelic Traditionalist dedicated to the Morrigán, the lack of action in the Pagan community at large saddens me. I'm not talking about the giving donations, helping out, all the service oriented things we are good at. I'm talking about righteous anger. I'm talking about this. Fíoraim bríocht
a neart néil cuma
braen fola ar fhear.
Fhir do-liach, go luidh brách.
Cirb, a cheo chaethainn,
mairg a ticfa a thimpeall.
Coiscfider a bhfoghaill,
meathfaider a monair,
beith a gcoirp fa chonnuibh.
Séidis gabhál ngall.
Fía muinter, cinnbhea damh.
Bed fo mblog,
for mbia mairg romhuidh.
Díl rom chealt.
Go scriosa do chuid naimhde thú.
I fashion-and-verify a verbal spell
its power of clouds, a shape
of a rain of blood on a man.
O man very wretched, keep fleeing forever.
Cut short, O fog of rowan,
a sorrow which will come round him.
Prevented be their escapes,
failed be their undertakings,
both their bodies beneath hounds.
Breath-blasted be the grasp of the foreigners.
To them a terrible death.
Be they under pieces,
that there will be sorrow around them.
Destruction before my visage.
May your enemies destroy you.
I fashion-and-verify a verbal spell.
| My 2 Cents Worth ||Sep 11th. at 12:26:46 pm EDT|
|David McEntee (San Mateo, CA) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I don't think my life has changed much in the last year. I can say that I'm more easily depressed or angered now, but that's about it. I don't think the world has changed all that much. But, the way America looks at the world has changed. I never liked flying before 9/11/2001 and I must say that I like it even less, now. Is there too much focus on 9/11 now? That depends solely on point of view. In my opinion, the events are being used in the wrong way. I want to see justice and restitution. Vengeance and retribution are 2 of the most petty of all human pursuits. The "war on terror" will never end so long as there are people on this earth who say "I hate (fill in religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, social status, etc)." Hate is the root cause of terrorism. "Hate crimes" are terrorist acts.
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