We lost the brief love and unity our nation felt on 9/12/2001


The days that followed, much like the days after Kennedy’s assassination, were days of communal grief and processing. Let it be noted – it is important that this be noted – that in those first days after the attack, unlike the ugliness of the military misadventures that have come to mark America’s official response to that day over the last twenty years, the people of the United States were beautiful. In our heartbreak and horror people were vulnerable, actually, and open. – Marianne Williamson

When a family experiences a tragedy, they draw together and support each other and console each other with love and compassion that they may feel uncomfortable displaying on normal days. So, too, a town wiped out by a flood or a tornado or a nation hit with a terrorist attack that takes nearly 3,000 lives.

Those feelings of national unity and concern for each other didn’t last. We lost our chance to keep that focus during the last 20 years. Now we find ourselves in a polarized nation where the default response to the smallest of things is often uncvilized hatred.

“Hey, there’s an old lady without a mask; let’s beat the shit out of her.”

“What do you mean I can’t come in your store without a mask? I’ll be back tonight to torch the dump, teach you a lesson you son of a bitch.”

I guess if one feels righteous enough, they can be immature.

Some of you will disagree, but I place a substantial amount of the blame for today’s polarization and uncivilized behavior at the foot of the U. S. Government. In my view, its response to 9/11 was about as inept as its response to leaving Afganistan. The so-called “Patriot acts” are an example. When a government spies on its own citizens, what kind of result should it expect? We can’t even get on an airplane without being searched. So much for probable cause.

The remains of our country’s once great news media have taken chaos and turned it into biased reporting, and that includes both CNN and Fox news. Both networks highlight divisiveness because it’s good for the ratings even thought it harms the country.

So today, while I will not forget 9/11, I also will not forget the unity and compassion of 9/12. We lost 3,000 innocent people on 9/11/2001 and then in the years that followed, we lost our national soul. Two paths diverged in a wood, and we took the low road, the one that’s killing everyone who survived 9/11. Today I wish we could, as a nation, look at how things anded up and resolve never to allow them to end up that way again.

I don’t think we will, but I can hope.