September 11th. Nine-eleven. “That day…”
We all remember it. Where we were, what we were doing, who was with us, how we felt. Some of us remember with grief for lost family and friends. Most remember with fear and horror, emotions that remain with us, like small dark shadows at the back of our minds.
We all experience the lingering thought that no one is safe. No place is inviolate from terror. There is nowhere to hide in our world.
We find ourselves glancing over our shoulder at that suspicious looking person. Taking a deep breath as we get on an airplane and see someone who looks like “one of them”.
We have lost our innocence and in so doing, we have lost our humanity. We now see the world as “us and them”, and refuse to accept that our world, this new reality, does not mean we have to build barriers between peoples.
So, we close our doors to those seeking refuge. We close our minds to understanding that being different is not being evil. We close our hearts to our brothers and sisters and we call it “prudence”. We listen to inflammatory rhetoric and nod our heads in agreement.
September 11th. The day the genie of fear was let out of the bottle and can’t be put back in. The day that heaven wept.
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