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I'm a small-town poet in both written word and performance. I'm more influenced by rock and roll but I am also a lit-chick full of curiosity. My influences are far and wide and I can find writing inspiration in anything, from important matters to pure whimsy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What We Should Remember

As we all know, today is the ninth anniversary of 9/11. I remember that morning as if it were a recent memory. I was a freshman at NCCC getting ready to make the trudge up the hill for class; when I heard my Mother in her upstairs bedroom shouting. I turned on the television and saw history unfold before me.

In wake of such tragedy I also saw the country band together. Not just at Ground Zero, but everywhere, I saw unity. Something that has sadly crumbled and been replaced with ignorance and misunderstanding.

Today it is hard to believe that at times this country seems more divided than ever. The small minority of hatemongers unfortunately has such a loud voice that everyone is forced to hear their vile rhetoric. We have a small church in Florida that wishes to hold a "Burn the Koran" event because the 9/11 attackers have somehow represented all Muslims in this church's eyes. Even some of my own friends are against the proposed Muslim community center two blocks from Ground Zero. They're being told to believe that such an establishment will piss on the graves of those who lost their lives that day. Although there were American Muslims who felt the same tragedy that was also felt by Christian, Jewish and people of every other faith who died that day. USA Today has a wonderful article about this issue. They shared the story of Salman Hamdani and his family. Hamdani was an EMT who ditched work when he saw the smoke coming from the towers. He sacrificed his life to help others and is a 9/11 hero, who happens to be Muslim. Yet his Mother, Talat, has to feel old wounds open as she receives hate mail for her beliefs. We've forgotten about the Muslim passengers on the planes, and the workers in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

We as Americans, and as human beings, shouldn't let the twisted beliefs of a few yahoos ruin our whole perception of a major religion. Al-Queda is not the whole of Islam, just a small radical fraction. Just like Westboro doesn't represent the whole of Christianity. We don't attack Christianity based solely on the beliefs of Westboro, or Dove Outreach. As much as these churches leave a sour taste in my mouth, I would never host a "Burn the Bible" event. Burning books is the first act in attempting to eradicate a culture. It is a destruction of knowledge and culture.

The more we live and act in fear, the closer the real villains are to winning. To reach out our hands in understanding and reject fear, the closer we will be to defeating our true enemies. We forget they want us to fear and attack. To attack would be to prove their point and fuel their fire.

Please, let's keep the spirit of unity that had first followed us in our darkest hour. Through that we can find strength.

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