Today is September 11th, 2008. It is a day of reflection.
Even if you do not know anyone personally who was affected by the tragedy that happened seven years ago, it is nonetheless important to reflect. In an age where instant gratification is the norm, and receiving information from somewhere far away is commonplace, the effects of the world in which we live leave an imprint on us all the same. Many, if not all, of you reading will be able to identify exactly where you were and what you were doing on this day when you heard the news. This is a definite impression.
Televisions and radio footage of an event–any event–can give us the impression that we live in a bubble. While this is true, it results two ways: one, we only pay attention to the bubble in which we live, and two, things that happen outside our bubble may affect us for a little while, but eventually, life will continue its course as though nothing had happened. I’m not saying that we should live in the past; this is unhealthy and unpractical, but it is important to remember such things.
We should remember why we live where we do. I, personally, did not fight in the American Revolution, or help word the Bill of Rights, and yet, I share the benefits of these events. What have I ever done to deserve these benefits? Nothing. I was just born here.
Our troops understand this: there are some things worth fighting for, and others for which you will die. Do your best, and that’s all anyone can ask of you.
No one likes war. War is terrible, and comes at the price of human lives. It’s awful, but if a war back in the 1700s gave me the ability to express myself freely, then was that war necessary? That depends on whether I would be willing to relinquish that right.
A lot of my generation are opposed to war at all costs. This is very admirable. However, it is not practical or logical. If I seek to be a peaceable person for the rest of my life, that personal decision will not necessarily protect me from the more bellicose. It is essential to realize that people’s theory of life is what dictates their actions. If a group of people strongly believe that their deity has called them to annihilate and repress other groups that don’t share the same view, we can rely on that first group to act according to their personal theology. As individuals, it is impossible to single-handedly change another individual’s philosophy of life. As humans, we tend to collect a collage of different ideas and interpret them in ways that resonate most with, what ends up being, our personal philosophy. The terrorists on those flights seven years ago strongly believed that they were doing what is right in accordance with what they believed. Thus, all of the people on those planes, regardless of whether they were peaceful people or not, they were the victims. This is what deserves our reflection: how war is terrible, but those who believe in war will find ways to bring it about.
I commend heros like Todd Beamer, and other nameless individuals who decided on the difference between reaction and action. Even though they knew the chances of survival were slim, they fought before going down. What bravery!
I pray for our troops in Iraq. I’m sure it’s not easy fighting a war, but it is cause for reflection nonetheless.