On this, the ninth anniversary of the most horrible event any of us have ever witnessed, I find myself conflicted. On one hand, I’m compelled to saturate my consciousness with the images of that day. I need to remember. I must not allow myself to become complacent about how I feel about my country. I must remember so that I can reflect on where I’ve come from, and how our country has changed since that day. I must process these thoughts and feelings in order to keep my life and my priorities in their proper perspective.
On the other hand, I’m disgusted with how divided we have become as a country.
September 11th is a day of memorial. It should be a day of reflection. It should be a day to count our blessings. It should be a day in which we are reminded that the freedom we have to disagree with one another, and even our government. Yet, it is so hated by some that they would attack innocent people within our borders in hopes of decimating our way of life.
Little by little, the corrosion of evil that pierced America that day has been eating away at our foundation ever since. Instead of September 11th being a day of unity, of reflection, of humility, of sadness, of pride, it has become a day self-serving, attention craving fools use to further an agenda. September 11th has become a pile of feces on the ground into which they rub the noses of those they hate.
Ground Zero will always be synonymous with the footprint in which the World Trade Center towers once stood. However, that is the tangible, geographical place. The real ground zero is intangible. Nine years later, our focus has shifted from the nearly 3,000 lives lost, to ideology. Faith. Religion. Today, we have a knucklehead in Florida who stirred up controversy and rattled national security by threatening to burn copies of the Koran. We have the ongoing debate over the mosque, or “Islamic Cultural Center” being erected on property so close to where the towers stood, it was damaged by flaming plane parts from the attack.
This morning, I read the account of a local man I met who approached two Muslim women yesterday. As a Christian man, he found it appropriate to tell them that the kook in Florida did not represent the beliefs we uphold as believers. We do not hate. We don’t share their beliefs, but we love them. It is not our desire or mission to antagonize them or attack that which they hold as sacred. One woman responded with a simple and gracious “thank you”. The other lashed out at him and said that the explosion and devastation in San Bruno was God’s punishment for the threat of the Koran burning.
As time moves forward and I’m pounded over the head by those who claim we’re intolerant, I choose to stand for what I believe. I choose to practice what I believe. You don’t have to believe as I do, but you cannot, and will not deprive me of doing so. Nor will I seek to deprive you. I am an American. I am a Christian. Like it or not, America is rooted in Christianity. It is no surprise that both are under attack. Those who would like to destroy us do not hate us. They hate what we believe. They hate what we stand for.
The real Ground Zero. May we never forget. May we have the courage to defend it.