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I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this. I actually forgot that this anniversary was coming up if you can believe that. Maybe someone who forgot shouldn’t be the same person writing about one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil. I’m not the voice of my generation. Hell, I’m barely a voice of my generation. This day, this anniversary doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to someone who lost somebody on September 11, 2001.
But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t mean something. If it’s not a moment that I’ll never forget.
It was the first time I understood that there was a world outside of my little town. My little high school. My little life. Some people hated enough to kill. Some people believed so strongly in that hate that they were willing to give their lives for it.
Now, at thirty-four, I’m well aware of this. We see it every damned day, don’t we? The domestic terrorist attacks far outweigh those from outside forces. We’re all scared, all worried.
It’s hard not to feel lost, in moments like this. I thought, foolishly, that maybe our country would rally together because of the attack on the Trade Center. I’d hoped that we’d get over our name-calling and work together to be better people. Now, lacking any real leadership, we’re more divided than ever. We can’t agree on basic facts. Can’t even all get on the same page about wearing a damned mask to keep each other safe? Can’t even agree that maybe police shooting unarmed citizens is, you know, a bad thing.
I’m sad today, and I guess that’s coming out. I’m angry, too. We lost lives on September 11, 2001. Families who weren’t even able to bury the bodies of their loved ones lost more than I can imagine. People, vultures, have made money from this. So we have a right to be sad, and angry.
But the worst thing about it. The thing that makes me furious, is that we are where we are. We didn’t come together, we didn’t learn to think of each other before we think of ourselves. It’s been nineteen years, and we don’t act like a nation that cares about each other.
Too few people vote.
Too few people get involved in their local politics.
Too few people are informed about what’s going on around them.
Too few people care about the protestors fighting for all of our rights.
Too few people care that Flint Michigan still doesn’t have clean water.
Too few people care that we are cooking the planet.
Now look, I know that is all freaking depressing. I get it, I wrote it. I largely wrote it in a fit of deep melancholic depression It had to be said because it’s the reality of where we are right now and we have to face it.
We have to face it because we have to now rise above it. Please, God, let us rise above it.
Let’s all take care of each other. Let’s wear our masks. Let’s call a friend who isn’t feeling great. Let’s vote, and understand who and what it is we’re voting for. Let’s give to worthy causes when we can. Let’s volunteer at the polls if we’re able. Let’s raise our voices and speak for those who need help. Let’s reach out a hand and help them. Let’s write songs and make art that brightens people’s day. Let’s get pissed off because we should be pissed off. Let’s take today and use it to remember what we can be as a country. And let’s never stop working toward that.
If you have a good story, please share it below. If a neighbor helped you out, or you just got some good news, we’d all love to hear it. Let’s take this day, use what we have, and start building the country we want to live in.
No one is going to build it for us.
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