Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Terrible Anniversary

Nine years ago today, while we were starting our days and going about our business, some religious fanatics took over four planes. They had no regard for their lives. They had no regard for the lives of others. If anything, their intent was to cause as much destruction as they could. They succeeded in ways public and personal. Some victims were not even in Manhattan at the time the Twin Towers fell.

I'm one of them. Although I mark the beginning of my PTSD on 2 July 2002 at 2:30 AM when I was attacked in my sleep by a drunkard, part of mind goes back to 11 Sept. 2001 and I can't help but sink into an inconsolable melancholy, occasionally accompanied by tears. Terrorists blew up a part of my home, New York, and I couldn't begin to understand why. And then to hear of Muslims dancing in the streets over the successful attack...? I was enraged. Nothing made sense. And none of the news outlets could make sense of it for me.

My friend Julie...Her best friend was married at the time of the attacks. The friend, Phee, and her husband are EMTs. They volunteered to go into the city to help with rescue and clean up efforts. Phee's husband was forever changed by the experience. His mind crumbled before the chaos, destruction, and death that awaited them. As I understand it, he was never the same. It led to their divorced and eventual reconciliation. And although they are together again, his mind remains damaged.

Who else crumbles before this anniversary? Each fatality is remembered by numerous family members and friends. The dead and the injured are not the only victims of the 9/11 attacks. There are too many others to count.

For me, it doesn't matter what religion you are. Pray to G-d, Jesus, Allah, or whatever other higher power you believe in. If you're an atheist, you can still offer up a generic prayer to no power whatsoever that those who suffer this day know some kind of peace as time goes on. That the horrors they suffer on this terrible anniversary occur only on this date, and that their lives resume nearly unaffected the next day. It's the most we can hope for now that the damage has been done.

For those who are interested, the link to the documentary that takes you inside the World Trade Center on the day of the disaster starts with this video.

Here's to world peace in our time and good will toward all. Be well, my friends.



Zeb The Troll said...

Just a little bit of me being pedantic right here. You say that we should pray to "God" or "Allah" implying that these are perceived to be two different entities. They are not. Allah is merely the Arab word for God, the same God that all Christians and Jews worship, the God of Abraham. Allahu Akbar, literally and directly, translates to "God (with a capital 'G') is great".

In the Quran is this text - "And do not dispute with the followers of the Book except by what is best, except those of them who act unjustly, and say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him do we submit."

The followers of the book are Abrahamic religions that predate Islam, specifically mentioned are Judaism and Christianity.

You see, the people of Islam simply believe that the Quran is the final book, the last word from God. In this way, Islam is akin to the Mormon faith. They just don't believe that the story ends with the New Testament. (I may be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure they also don't believe in the divinity of the Christ, but revere him still as a prophet.)

I point this out not solely to be a pedantic asshole. It's my firm belief that a lot of the hatred and bigotry running rampant in our fair nation these days (see the jerkass preacher in FL who wanted to burn copies of the Quran [I have a WHOLE different rant on this guy]). I honestly feel that if we can spread the word about the similarities between the faiths and stop focusing on "it were Muslims what blew shit up on us so we should nuke 'em all straight inta HELL!" that we could get around to the healing process, as a nation, in a much more healthy manner.

FACT: Muslims did not do this to us. People who happened to be Muslim, did this.

Alright, I'm going to get off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.

Rob Meadows said...

Really? A theological history lesson, Zeb? While I may write primarily for my followers, I also write with just a touch directed at the less educated. "G-d," "Ya-weh," (dash replaces an H), or "Allah"...These are the names by which people refer to Him, and so I make a linguistic differentiation. *I* know they're the same. I'm sure many others know they're the same. It's just the way I write.

So don't...don't...STOP JUDGING ME, MAN!


Zeb The Troll said...

*glares at computer that just rebooted unbidden in the middle of a rather lengthy response, which is now lost, of course*

Okay, let's try again.

Sorry about the late response. I didn't think anyone would actually respond to it since my comment was made so long after your blog post was. (I still doubt anyone but you has read it.)

In any case, my experience tells me that the number of people who actually know this is very, very low. To a person, everyone I've explained this to has given me the "Really!?" response and expression. It's sad, really.

In my life I have the privilege of being able to interact with a great number of well educated and otherwise very intelligent people who don't know this. Worse, many of the worst offenders are the very outspoken minority of right wing conservative Christians. For example, I have an aunt, whom I love dearly, who is an Anabaptist(1) who continually forwards me hate filled emails that only serve to try to justify her hatred of the pagan idol worshipping Muslims.

But more to the point, my comment was less directed at Rob than it was at the vast, vast majority of those who might read it and don't actually know. If even one person reads it and says "Huh, I didn't know that. That puts things in a whole new perspective for me." then I've accomplished what I set out to do.

Though probably no one's going to read this one either, but it's nice to have an intellectual dialog and so I'll post it for your benefit, anyway. 8-)

(1)For those following along that have never heard of Anabaptists, they are an ultra conservative branch of Christianity akin to Ultra Orthodox Judaism. They believe that the Christian law should be applied today the same way that it was in the time of Christ and there is no allowance for "modernizing" the rules to be more in line with today's society, even ones that no longer make sense.