Today, as I was stopped in traffic waiting for the light to change I noticed one of the ECU transit buses about to cross the intersection. Nothing unusual, out of ordinary. But then there it was on the overheard marquee that is illuminated typically with advertisements, or where the bus is heading.... "Remember 09-11-01". My internal reaction was probably unlike most. For a second I was jolted back to the day. At the time I was working for a large healthcare compay as long term care A/R manager. My office was inside one of the long term care facilities and there were resident rooms nearby typically with a television that was on 24/7. I watched it "live" as the second plane crashed and I knew without any doubt the buildings would come down. That afternoon on my way home, traveling Hwy 40 East in Greensboro, where I lived at the time... I noticed military helicopters patrolling the air, near many airplane fuel tanks. I remember calling my dad, wanting to know where he was and that all was ok. For a brief time it seemed like the world was at war and the U.S. was right in the middle of it.
Then it hit me. I was screaming inside. "How can I freaking forget 9/11????!!!!" How can I freaking forget all that has changed since. What about the Patriot Act, what about the constant and consistent infringement upon my rights as a U.S. Citizen, how can I forget the bullshit that was shoved down our throats as a reason to go to war, that continues to rage? How can I forget?
Granted, before I go to far down this path, let me say I have a great deal of compassion for all the innocent victims of such a terrible crime, whether it was one or five thousand. If anything I want to remember who was left behind, the empty space that is left when you lose someone, that I am quite familiar with. My heart is with them all.
So no offense to ECU's transit system for choosing to remember 9/11/01 - but rather than remember the "day" remember the people who lost their lives, and the ones who freely gave theirs trying to save others. Remember the families that were left behind. Add to that the continual lives both innocent and not, that are continuing to be lost. And don't just remember OUR troops, remember the innocent lives of other countries that we are destroying for the cause that has been so publicized, marketed, and propagated.... which is? I am not sure anymore... was it because of weapons of mass destruction? Oh thats right... Its been so confusing these last few years. The real reason or the reasons for this continual war seem to change. But it doesn't matter now does it? Just as long as I "Remember 09-11-01"
I was amazed, as the light changed and I crossed the intersection, continuing to stare at the marquee... amazed that we truly are like little sheep, following whatever we are bombarded with, rallying behind someone else's cause and choosing to believe all that we see and hear.
What really frightens me, is that as much as we "remember 09-11-01", we forget about the thousands of people that die each year from medical errors, from the common flu, while also forgetting the shortage we have for vaccinations because we for whatever reasons can't produce enough. But we can afford to spend millions daily on a war. Do you remember the children that are murdered each year, the number of women that are abused or raped every hour? No you don't... you can't bring that fateful day back to the forefront of your mind, because its EVERYDAY...and because that isn't 'marketed" and shoved down your throat it doesn't become seared into your consciousness - like 9/11/01.
No I won't forget, but at the same time I will remember, that I have a brain and consciousness of my own and I will use it to remember all that the mass media and those that rally behind them, fail to bring to light, fail to acknowledge and so calculatingly overlook.
Unfortunately, today, the events of 9/11/01 pale in comparison to all that it has caused. And each time I turn on NPR, or the news and all I hear about is war, I remember. Yes, every time I read the paper, or peruse the net stumbling across a snippet of a veteran's blog, or catch a glimpse of a camel spider bite, I remember.