Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Eleven Years

Yesterday was the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I have little to say that hasn't already been said.

In the eleven years since the moment when the world changed and nothing would ever be the same, little has changed. And much has as well.

It is interesting to note that the emergency powers enacted on September 14th, 2001 were extended one year a couple days ago. The nation will be in a state of emergency for 12 years next year when the order expires. And likely it will be extended.

In this post-9/11 world we were supposed to band together and be a force for good. America was supposed to show its strength and solidarity. We were supposed to bring about world peace through a revamped international policy that looked to creating lasting relationships in the quickly globalizing atmosphere.

But where are we? I think we forget that the two towers that fell weren't called the “America Trade Center.” They were—of course—the World Trade Center. And they represented the same thing that landing on the moon represented—an achievement of the human spirit and a show of good will towards all mankind.

And somehow we've lost that. I think we lost that feeling of unity—not that we need to agree on everything. Rather, that we are all Americans and humans and we all should cooperate to banish those who would wish us harm. We stood strong in our vision of a world of free democratic peoples. Now we bicker over details to promote our own agendas.

I think that the recent attacks on the American embassies in Egypt and Libya show the commonality of the American mind more than we realize. While Mitt Romney has strongly declared that Obama should not apologize for America—something he patently has not done—he reiterates largely the same sentiments of the president. American values aren't limited to America though.

It would be wise to remember that many brave Libyans tried to save the Ambassador after he was attacked; they took him and the two other officers to a local hospital for treatment. While the result was the tragic death of three upstanding Americans, we saw the real moment.

The moment was not the hate eschewed over a fake controversy, rather it was the response. Instead of violence and hatred, it was the extended hand of international friendship. One does not banish darkness with darkness.

In the rapidly globalizing world where ideas flow freely and America has more chance than ever to extend the hand of friendship, it is our duty to cultivate positive change. Our Ambassadors are tools of brotherhood and shared struggle. What greater commodity is there to trade in this world than goodwill and open arms?

Our emergency are the self-inflicted wounds of the American ego; it is our duty to go back to our hearts and look at the goals of American democracy, all men are created equal. And we pursue not war, strife, and isolation; we pursue life, liberty, and happiness.