Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September 11th Anniversary Thoughts

On September 11, 2001 I was at a doctor appointment with my month-old daughter and my 2½-year old son. Elliott raced small cars around the floor with another toddler, Abigail slept peacefully in her baby seat, and the adults in the waiting room silently watched the horrifying events on the wall-mounted television.
I wondered what political belief, what religion could possibly be so powerful to inspire these horrible acts. What institution promised its members so much to get them to take their own and other’s lives? What could possibly be worth that? I decided I didn’t know.
As I drove home that afternoon I spotted a huge American flag, billowing at half-mast. My chest tightened, the tears sprang to my eyes, my stomach dropped to my feet and I realized: I do know. I, too, have something worth fighting for, worth protecting, worth dying for. It’s called The United States of America – my home.
So what’s the difference? The United States of America was born, flourished and continues to thrive because it’s purpose is to ensure life, liberty, and opportunity for all its citizens. Terrorist groups exist simply because they have an enemy. They have no higher purpose, and their failure is inevitable. They have no foundation but hate.
September 11th is now my New Year, my resolution day. I resolve to teach my children love, compassion, charity, tolerance, goodwill, understanding and peace. I resolve to practice these things myself, for in them the higher purpose of the United States of America, and all its children, will live forever.

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