Sunday, September 11, 2011

Some Thoughts 10 Years After 9/11
WTC Memorial (photo credit)
WTC Memorial (photo credit)
WTC Memorial (photo credit)

I am so GLAD they have finally completed this memorial. What a powerful tribute to all the people that lost their lives that day. A place to remember all the sacrifices made by the many heroic people, risking their lives to help others.

I am still so sorry for all the devastation the attacks caused on 9/11/2001, in the WTC -NYC, the field in PA and the Pentagon, Washington DC. I am still so sorry for all the grieving people that have lost family and friends. It is a solemn day. I am sure it has forever changed most of us. The cost has been astronomical in so many ways. I wish for healing and peace for all of us ...and in the same breath ...I say ... may we remain ever vigilant against those that would bring this great country down if they could ...may we never forget.

I hope it is alright (since giving credit) that I posted the sergeant's comments in here. (see below) I will remove it if it is not.

I was only looking for a picture to put up to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 being celebrated today, when I came across this blog: September 11 Ten Years, but then was greatly moved by the following comment:

Sgt.Swannick said...

I’m Not Invited To Ground Zero On 9/11

I strapped a gun on my hip and a badge on my chest
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I lost my right kidney to cancer
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

My left kidney is at stage III renal failure
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I lost my thyroid to cancer
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I suffer from Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS)
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I have a lesion on the right side of my brain
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I suffer from lung scarring, inflamation, atelectasis
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I suffer from chronic bronchitis, small airway disease, growing lung nodules
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I suffer from a chronic cough
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I suffer from sinusitis and rinitis
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

I suffer at the hands of our self-serving politicians
and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11

There was one other time I was not invited to ground zero
Guess it was a good thing myself and thousands of others showed up

Sgt. Michael Swannick

I was grieved when I first heard that the 9/11 responders and clergy were not invited to this 10 year anniversary memorial. It just isn't right. There had to be some way to include them. I know they say logistics/seating, etc., but big screen TVS somewhere ...some kind of connection in the moment. They were there on 9/11/2001 and should have been there today. Certainly the families are a priority. And there are security concerns. But, why couldn't they have representatives from the emergency services that were present on that fateful day, and then have the overflow of first responders in another area? Something to INCLUDE the FIRST responders? I'll go even farther and say that at some point, it would've been nice to have both presidents come and speak to the first responders in the overflow area... if there had been one. A visit from from former President Bush and President Obama into the that area, would have personalized it for them. Say what you will about President Bush ...he helped to pull us together that day ...his words while on that pile of ground zero rubble ...empowered those workers. Being with him again would've meant a lot, I am sure.
And, regarding not inviting clergy because they felt they couldn't be all inclusive just wrong.

Faith was instrumental in pulling us together that day and providing comfort and hope. Does anyone remember former President Bush, other political leaders and clergy speaking at the memorial in national cathedral right after 9/11? There were no outcries against having clergy speak. Nor was there an outcry against our political leaders publicly speaking about and praying to God.
Congress united in spirit, singing God Bless America.

Our country ...America ...the United States of America was founded on Judeo - Christian ethics. Our court system is based on Judeo -Christian ethics. We have an American culture. It has been the "city on the hill", a beacon of light to so many people around the world. Even my maternal grandparents and most of their siblings left Scotland to come to live here in the early 1900's, as did my paternal side of the family leaving Germany and Switzerland to come here. People from all around the world left their countries to come here. And people still risk their lives to leave Cuba and Mexico to come here. The Vietnam boat people risked their lives with the hope of making it to this country. Knowledge of our culture didn't deter them.

If I decided to live in India, France, Egypt, Greece, China or Israel... I would not expect them to change their traditions or religious worship because it is offensive to me. Nor would I expect to have my views espoused. I would believe what I believe and be respectful of their cultures.

America is a a multi-cultural nation, based on the Judeo-Christian ethics that the founders of this country established. We are all free to worship in any faith of our choosing or to reject all faith. I don't believe most people take offense at our historically religious values, but rather only a minority of people do this ...ruining it for the rest of us.

Furthermore, I see an erosion of our American culture and sovereignty. And this is a dangerous path to go down. We have to stop being so politically correct that we neutralize the very values that empowered this country. History speaks for itself and anyone can read about the founding of this country ...but read the original words of George Washington and others ...not the sanitized politically correct versions in which their religious views and influences on this country have been omitted.

When I was growing up and for most of my life in this country (until the last decade and a half or so) ...we never had to worry about offending people if we said "Merry Christmas", put up a Christmas tree, said "under God" in the pledge of allegiance and I could go on. What a sad state of affairs that some people get all squirrelly over these things. Good traditions! And if you don't want to participate - don't.

Also, I am appalled that an atheist group has tried to prevent the cross (2 steal beams that emerged from the rubble in the form of a cross) at the WTC site from becoming a part of the WTC museum. It was found within 24-36 hours after it all came down and was considered to be a miracle that most certainly provided comfort and hope to many people that were working there and/or lost people they love in that terrorist attack. It had been on the grounds for 10 years and people have left remembrances around it. But, now the atheist organization wants to is coming out against it.

No one is barring objects of other faiths from being there.

But ... That cross was found in the rubble. Can you just imagine the emotions that hit those workers when they saw and erected that amidst the rubble?

That cross ...IS a part of the history of this grievous event. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that it became symbolic of hope ...providing peace and comfort amidst the horror in those awful days, weeks, and months of cleanup. And it has continued to remain an important symbol for this last decade.

Just don't look at it if it is offensive to you. But, please ...stop ruining it for the multitudes of people it has powerfully impacted, bringing them hope, peace, comfort, and is perhaps a touch point in faith for those who lost their friends and family that day ...on September 11, 2011.
Here is an interesting interview discussing this matter.


Anonymous said...

the clergy have never been invited to speak at the 9-11 anniversaries. they want to focus on the histories of the people who died, not on their religions. if the family members who are speaking wish to say something spiritual or religious, there is no reason why they can't do that. i don't know why there's suddenly outrage about it but this is nothing new.

and 'faith' might have been instrumental in pulling some people together, but as someone who doesn't subscribe to any religion, faith had nothing to do with my compassion for the suffering of other human beings.

also this:

"Just don't look at it if it is offensive to you." is such a problematic, passive and permissive way of thinking --applied to any aspect of life.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Anonymous 01:40 - Thank you for your comment.

I can appreciate that you don't need faith to have compassion toward your fellow man. I think being human ...most of us would still feel compassion toward others going through difficult times this case horrendous times.

And I also don't think one needs to believe in God or any higher power to live moral life.

That being said, faith can also enhance the good that is already in a person and overcome the negatives.

And faith can draw a person out of a bad life into doing better things. there is a lot to be said for it too.

But faith ..and we all have it in something ..ourselves a mentor something or someone can pull us forward. When it comes to faith in God can cause people to feel like they can move mountains ...and literally they did move a mountain of steel and debris, etc. I really wish we could've seen their reactions when that cross steel beam was discovered. It must've really seemed like a miracle to them God was saying ...I know this is bad ..but I'm still here with you'll get through this. I'm guessing of course ..but it impacted them.

Faith can empower people ...give them hope and peace beyond the circumstances they are in. there is a scripture that says God will give us a peace that surpasses all understanding. In other words that when it doesn't make any sense ...people can still have a peace amidst the storm. I've experienced that first hand in my life and I know it was God. Not something I can prove ...but with spirit things there is this inner knowing.

Sorry - didn't mean to get off track.

Faith hope and then people believe things are possible again. And Faith also comforts. And people need comfort when they have loss ...especially loss of loved ones. The whole country needed comforting and faith and hope on 9/11. But how much more the individuals that lost people?

Yes ...I had heard that he didn't have clergy at the others. But ...10 yr anniversary is a big deal. Just as it was a big deal not to have the 1st responders.

If you go back through history ...with major events God is prayed to ...asked for blessings. And it is unifying for most people in this country. We are free to deny the existence of God. No one can make us believe anything we don't want to ...nor should they. Even God doesn't force himself. Some things have been done in God's name that he had no part of. Personally ...I would never want to be forced to practice a religion if I did not want to.

But this country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and has been a part of our culture from the beginning. That is why Congress opens with prayer, the 10 commandments were in so many public buildings, in God we trust on our money and so on.

And the fact that it was a memorial ...honering the people that died would've been nice to have a fe clergy speak and they could've offered encouragement and peace ...just like at regular memorials. It helps to have someone to look to in these circumastances and tie it all together. I am sure they would not have spoken about "their religions". When you go to a memorial for someone ...clergy is a help and a comfort when they speak about the deceased. Even for the inaugurations ...they have clergy speak. Clergy speaks at many government functions. It only makes sense that they should've been included. It would have added to it.

SeaSpray said...

I seriously think pc has gone too far. When we all are afraid to speak up and we keep everyone from doing anything because of fear of offending a few.

I can appreciate your stating, ""Just don't look at it if it is offensive to you." is such a problematic, passive and permissive way of thinking --applied to any aspect of life."

There are things in life that being flippantly dismissive would not be acceptable. I do understand.

But, in the case of faith has always been a part of our culture and it is not forcing anyone and no one has to believe.

off track with this ..but here is another case of overkill with pc.

A few years ago ...some major store chain decided that they would no longer call their Christmas trees, being sold for the Christmas holiday ..Christmas trees. they had to be advertised as holiday trees because they didn't want to offend anyone with Christmas. I would never buy anything HOLIDAY in that store because of their PC stance. That is crazy and offensive. Christmas programs can no longer be called Christmas programs in school. One year a local store ...I said merry Christmas when leaving. The women were silent. I thought maybe they didn't hear me and so I repeated it. Silence. I left feeling really weird. Not long after I ran into the owner (Jewish)who for years wished me Merry Christmas and I wished him Happy Hannukah. I told him about it and asked him if he had a new pc policy. He said not at all. They say Merry Christmas now. Years ago it wouldn't have been a big deal at all.

People are afraid and things are getting turned upside down because of PC this ..PC that ..PC ad nauseam.

I believe in tolerance. But in away ...I feel like there is a reverse discrimination going on.

Thanks again for your input. :)