Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11 and The Real America

As memorial events take place all over the country to remember the horrific attacks on American soil by a group of terrorists hell-bent on destroying America's economy and ensuring we live in fear, most of us will have a somber moment or two remembering those powerful scenes streaming on our television sets.

We will remember the frantic calls to family members who still live in New York and the feelings of powerlessness to stop the nightmare from evolving beyond the containment of one city.

It was not to be, the orchestrated attacks came in three. The Pentagon and Pennsylvania took additional hits  It was not meant to happen here, in our country.  We don't know how to deal with this, we said to ourselves.  We are not a third world country accustomed to car bombings and daily unrest, we thought.   This is America! - We are untouchable.

Well, it did happen and many other attacks have been thwarted thanks to an intelligence system that has become more adept to using brains, knowledge, and knowing the enemy than using brute force.  But it has all come to a high cost.  The lives lost are priceless, the families are forever changed and the rescuers are horribly sick. Many have died or are dying from the fumes filled with carcinogens and particles embedded permanently in their lungs.

We will all chose to remember something; a photograph, a video clip, a loved one.  We might even recall how we felt when we saw or heard about it, where we were and who we were with at the time.  What I want to remember is the reactions of our every day citizens, the ones who no one talks about on television or radio programs.

We all know who they are; they don't have a uniform and don't belong to a rescue team or have any military training: They are our neighbors and I thought we should pause for a moment and think about them and send a thought, a prayer or, a wish of gratitude for what they did and for making our world a better place to live.

I remember ordinary people in California reacting quickly and throwing whatever they thought could help in the back of their cars and drive across the country to help dig through the rubble.

I remember a former police officer, friend of the family, who drove to Nevada in record time to pick up my father-in-law, who was visiting and unable to catch a flight back to San Francisco and be with his wife of over 50 years.  My father-in-law slept next to his wife that night.

I remember the nurses at our doctor's office who took an immediate leave of absence and took off for New York to help heal, comfort and treat survivors and rescuers.

I remember Cuba offering their highly trained medical personnel and being turned down by our government.

I remember the anguish of long hours before I got news of my brothers, niece, cousins, nephews and my mom.

I remember crying.

Most of all, today and tomorrow, I remember us.

I remember the Americans we can be when a disaster strikes, not because there is money in it, not because there is glory in it, but because we are that way regardless of who we are or affiliate with in peaceful times.  Even when we don't want to show it, we care and know that when we are needed, we can get out of our comfort zone and jump with both feet to lend more than just a hand, we give with our souls.

Ten years after 9/11/2001 - America, I remember you.

PEACE - Olivia 


Image by Flickr user TheMachineStops (CC BY-SA 2.0)  via Wikimedia Commons

11 comments:

Jean said...

A lovely post. Thank you.

Troutman said...

Rememebering us; is a very good point. I do remember The USA pre9/11 and I miss what this country was back then.

Michael said...

We lost so much. Thanks for your memories.

BlueTrooth said...

Nice post. I've heard a lot of my friends lamenting how the unity we experienced as a nation was so fleeting. There's plenty of blame and excuses to go around. But the fact remains, we are not united. The real tragedy from my perspective is that the more we "never forget" 9/11, the more divided we become.

Anonymous said...

Very Nice Olivia, T

Olivia Emisar said...

Blue Trooth,

Remembering and "never forget" are two different things for me, as I am sure it is for others. The 1st one comes from the heart, and the other one is a political slogan ... I could go on about the second one, but today and tomorrow, I chose to remember instead.

Lord knows there will be plenty of time to be political... just not today or tomorrow.

sandinbrick said...

I remember the shock. With the first attack, that they would really be viligent and not put the Control Center right under the Towers. The threats were there 3 weeks before the attack, but GWB was too buzy patting himself on the back by the election he stole from Gore.

So I feel sad this day, that the wars go on, we need to bring them home. This is a no win.

Liv said...

Days after the tragedy, my small town had a fall festival; parade and all. As I sat on the side of the road, waiting for my kids to go by in a convertible, I heard the noise. The local fire department and ambulance had sirens completely open and so loud you could not hear yourself think. I starting heaving and my throat closed up as I started to openly cry. I was having a severe PTSD reaction. These sounds, and being inside of them almost, was like being dropped in the middle of the towers for me. It felt like I absorbed all their fear, pain and screams. I had to leave in order to regain my composure. This visceral reaction proves the impact of the horror we all experienced. It was a powerful day in so many ways, and so many of us connected.

skbeal said...

Wonderful, heartfelt blog post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and remembering the America we all know and love.

riceroni said...

Very beautiful and well said. It also infuriate me when I read this because I think of how unified we can be and how in times of need and crisis we all regardless of political, religious, sexual, and cultural differences we can all come together and truly be our brothers/sisters keepers. Then you have the right-wing faction of evil that uses such a horrific tragedy and catastrophe for their financial and political gain, and to further their agendas of divisiveness, bigotry, and hate.

YES! I am talking about FAUX news, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, The Koch Brothers, Rudy Giuliani, Congressmen Peter King, Steve King, and senators Jim Demint, and Rand Paul, and especially the teabaggers.

Anonymous said...

Great post - Marie re67u