Gentle Fudge
religion, politics, current events, and other fashionable dinner conversation.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Happy Anniversary
September is the month of anniversaries for me. It's been five years since I stared in awe at a television screen just moments after hearing that the indestructible towers of steel and glass had melted in the heat from two plane crashes and I quickly put out bulletins to all my international email pals (and my mother who was vacationing in Finland) about the attacks, experiencing the internet freeze-up on any news site I tried to access, and listening to silent skies for days afterward. It's been ten years for sobriety... think I'll have a drink. Of coffee. It's been 25 years since my brother's birth, and February will mark the anniversary of his death.

All these end in a nice, even number this year. And I can remember where I was when I first heard about the beginnings of all these events. Each time prayer was involved. Prayers for protection, forgiveness, pleadings. Each made their own mark and life was never the same.

Reflecting on 91101, that was the only time in history that I can remember watching the news that much. Even to this day, I get a bit overwhelmed and can only watch a half hour a day.

It was the second to last day of my job working at my church. The first plane hit and no one knew what was going on. The guys on the radio prayed for those who may have survived
and wondered. The second plane hit as I parked. I ran inside, demanding a TV and told everyone that we were under attack. None of my coworkers knew what was going on. I got updates from a friend who was watching everything happen on cable until the TV was procured. The Towers had collapsed by the time the TV was switched on. "What do you mean they're GONE?" I kept asking over and over. The internet was frozen with all the traffic and I listened as they told about another crash into the Pentagon. And more planes suddenly went missing. We all grew more anxious.

Our bi
ggest symbols were destroyed or disfigured. The World Trade Center -- our symbol of capitalism. The Pentagon -- our symbol of defense. A plane downed in a random field in Pennsylvania. We wondered at what would be next.

The whole day I wrestled with the question "Why". Being the interim editor for our newsletter, I knew something had to be written. Some explaination. Some reason. I tried to write about faith during such a trying time. Where was G-d? Was this just another example of religious fanatisicm? What would happen next? And why us? Why now?

As people began to draw together, it encouraged me that so many were willing to put aside petty differences and focus on something bigger than themselves. Churches, mosques, synagogues, everyone opened their doors. Time, money, water, blood, sweat and tears... all were sacrificed to those who were in need. It no longer mattered where we lived, how much money we had, if we had a degree or not, political persuasion, if we worshiped in the same church or shared the same religion, we all were in this together. Our soul had been ripped open and we all saw the responsibility to repair it and to love our brothers and sisters who were in pain and loss. Sure, there were a few loudmouths who prophesied that the attacks were brought on by G-d's wrath against homosexuals or nonXtians or tattoos or lobster or whatever such nonsense (and were told by many to shut up and stop representing us), but overall, we bonded as a country. To paraphrase Becky Garrison, the Kingdom of G-d had come on earth. We finally were acting instead of speculating.

But five years later and we're more divided than we were before these events. We can't seem to get along anymore. I really wish we were in a better place than we are now. But we still have time to learn from our successes as well as failures. Five more years? I hope it won't take that long.

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posted by Sara @ 8:48 AM  
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Name: Sara
Home: gypsy wanderer, United States
About Me: Those who know me find me stubborn, opinionated, open-minded, strong-willed, of some intelligence, and yet they still hang around.
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Love God. Love all. Serve both.

There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

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