Wednesday, September 11, 2013

They didn't win

I can still go to the grocery store without fear of being bombed. I am not required to dress to a  standard of "modesty" greater than my own. Nor am I required to rely upon a father, brother, or other male relative for "chaperoning" to "protect" me when I venture from the house.

Yes, there are things that have changed - I remain unconvinced that the TSA is better protection from a would-be attacker than a bunch of alert passengers with a "Hell, no, that's not gonna happen again, not if I have anything to do about it" attitude. I'm really, really not crazy about the idea that information about what phone numbers I dial and when, and also very likely what sites I visit on the Internet is being collected and stored somewhere.

But we're fundamentally okay. The world didn't become the hellhole (or, well, the vastly bigger hellhole than parts of it already were) after September 11.

Yes, thousands - THOUSANDS, and the number still boggles my mind - of innocent people lost their lives. Moms and dads and brothers and sons and daughters and sisters and friends and grandparents and firefighters and cops and emergency technicians and soldiers and.....just people. An entire cross-section of America. And I am still mad and sad about that. And even a year ago, four people lost their lives in a mob that was apparently determined to celebrate the anniversary of what they saw as our downfall.

And yeah, I'm not happy with a lot of what our leaders are doing now. A lot of it seems like kabuki theater as played by a seventh-grade class where all the cliques are in a snit with each other. But the average American person - the people I work with and go to church with and know well enough to say "hi" to at the grocery store - they're still keepin' on keepin' on. Most of them, at least most of the people I associate with, are working for a living, paying their taxes, obeying the law, loving their family, and going about their day to day life. Most of the people I know seem to have it together better than a lot of world leaders. So I still have hope.

But I also have hope that nothing on this scale ever happens again.

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