FEAR BUT NOT LOATHING

Earlier this week one of the local news stations posed this question to viewers: "Do you feel safe since 9/11?". They asked you to tweet or text your replies. I heard their question as I drove to work and thought that there's no way a tweet could hold my answer. Partially, I feel like it's a very silly question. I remember clearly watching the events of 9/11 while sitting in what was then Galileo's, horrified at what I was seeing, but I never felt unsafe. I live in the Midwest. I was in Chickasha when Timothy McVay bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I'm more afraid of terrorist attacks from disgruntled American citizens than I am from outside this country. If I where to realistically look at the dangers surrounding me, I am most likely to be hit by a car or disease. So, I suppose my answer to the question would be that the events of 9/11 didn't have any affects on how I feel about my safety.

But when people say that 9/11 changed everything, they are correct. It made many of us fearful of people who have slightly darker skin tones and middle eastern accents. It made many of us a bit more racist. It made us feel a little vulnerable, because it shattered the idea that we were invincible. We realized that things like car bombings that happen every day in some other countries, were things that could happen here. We thought we were above that. 9/11 was an attack on our ego, but it was also a test for humanity. We saw great acts of kindness, support and love go out to the victims and family of victims. We took care of each other. Young people were inspired to stand up and enlist to protect this country. This is where the terrorists would hit the rest of us. They would take away our sons and daughters, our brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. The fear should not be for our safety, but for those of our loved ones. 

I cannot say that J would still be alive today if it were not for 9/11. He was a natural hero and already heading into a law enforcement type of career. If not this, than that. Maybe we would have had him with us longer. I don't know. I do know that 9/11 was a horrific and tragic moment in American history and it will be decades before it becomes a date that we just give a slight head nod too. It was the front moving in at the horizon that brought the sad cloud that settled over my family. We will be feeling the aftershock of the fall of those two buildings for a very long time. So instead of focusing on my personal safety or lack there of or whatever, I'd rather spend today remembering loved ones lost, sending out loving kindness to family victims, and having a moment of gratitude for the good things we have in our lives.