One of the most famous quotes in American history by President Franklin Roosevelt, coined after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, can more than apply to what happened on a tranquil Tuesday, 17 years ago today.
When I went to the 9/11 Museum, one of the many things leaving an indelible impression, were the pictures on the wall of all 13 hijackers…4 inches wide, 6 inches tall…who were responsible for ending, and changing so many lives.
The curators did it modestly, so not to anger nor insult, but clearly felt the need to include them as the architects if you will, of one of the darkness days the world has ever known.
A friend of mine was ranting about stronger immigration laws, supporting President Trump across the board. He admonished me, saying, “You of all people Susannah, who’s still so affected by September 11th, should rally behind him. Imagine if our laws were tighter back then, all those people would still be here.”
Yes, alas, all those 2,983 souls, randomly lost.
I let his ire wash over me like rain, appreciating his point, since it throws me too, when I think, not only did these men who flew into the Trade Center and Pentagon, crashing in Shanksville, Pennsylvania live in the tristate area, but were taught, by us, to fly those planes.
He bullied me further by saying, how can I feel empathy for all the dirty illegals sneaking in who want us dead.
“What the hell’s the matter with you? Tell me, or will I have to read it in one of your stupid essays.”
Yes, his anger knew no bounds.
I held my tongue, not mentioning mothers separated from their children, knowing whatever I’d say would only inflame him further, choosing to simply excuse myself.
If he really wanted to know how I felt, this is what I would have said…
Any tragedy I’ve endured in my life, rather than make me harder, opened my heart wider. I certainly don’t mourn those 13 men, nor was sad when we murdered their leader, Osama bin Laden, but neither did I rejoice in the kill, for me, a hollow victory.
But I do know this..unless we’re the change, like Mr. Gandhi said, there’s no hope of ever healing such inexplicable hatred.
Al-Qaeda’s loathing of us, morphing into ISIS, brainwashing young men and women to do whatever’s necessary to annihilate Americans, will only cease combated with some sense of sanity.
No one who held a box cutter that day thinking their God would approve, was sane.
Most of those men were mere boys, twisted into thinking virgins and riches would await them on the other side.
I’m hoping they’ve met those they took with them, the 252 on the 4 planes including 8 children ranging from ages 11 to 2, the 125 at the Pentagon, and the 2,606 in the Towers, who I’ll bet as noble Americans, would greet them without malice.
God bless America.