Sunday, September 12, 2004

September 11th: We've Forgotten You

On September 11th, I had a pretty good day, but at the same time, I was disturbed by the people that I saw. As I looked in peoples' eyes, they were glazed and dull. There eyes were empty, when they should have been full. There eyes should have been glowing with joy and happiness, the joy of life; life which was so freely given on that fateful day. Or there eyes should have been deep and calm in the reflection on the way that there lives were changed, the bad and the good.

All the little flags bought in the aftermath now lay and the bottom of our nations expansive landfills, in the gutters and garbage cans, as our collective "patriotism" has been exposed as little more than temporary nationalism.

Emerson College, partnered with other local colleges to hold a candlelight vigil at the Gazebo on Boston Common. I decided to join those in a solemn evening of remembrance.

There were perhaps 150-200 people there, a paltry turnout for an event so fresh in the memory. It made my heart break to see how few people could manage to “break away” from their busy schedule to remember the fallen heroes and the sifting through the ashes. As the candles were lit, we stood and prayed, meditated, and pondered the events on that fateful day, and the effects of terrorism worldwide.

Then peaceful mood was soured.

Tita Puopolo, whose mother was on American Flight 11, spoke at the vigil. To paraphrase, she said “After September 11th, Senator John Kerry lit a candle to remember the fallen victims, and I am thankful to Senator Kerry for his compassion. And I know that it is important that we have a president who will fight the war on terrorism well. A president like John Kerry”

I kick myself now for not walking out the minute that bile came spewing from her mouth.

Whether you are Republican or Democrat, it remains the same—the presidential race is irrelevant and inappropriate at a vigil for the dead. To cheapen the memory September 11th by pushing a candidate or an issue is wrong and makes me sick to my stomach.

Loretta Lynn sums up my feelings in her song "God Bless America Again"

God bless America again you see all the troubles that she's in
Wash her pretty face dry her eyes and then God bless America again

God I sure to wish you bless America again
You know like you did way back when it all began
You blessed her then but we just sorta kinda take it for granted
And never did ask again
So God just hold her hand that's all
And if she should stumble please don't let her fall
God bless America again...

You know I don't understand to everythin' I'm readin' here
About what's wrong with America
And if you don't have a lotta good learnin'
I guess there's a lotta things you don't understand
But let me say this God she's like a mother to me
And though all I am or ever hope to be I owe to you and to her
Wash her pretty face...

God Bless America, Again--please.

No comments: