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Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

I've been debating all day long about whether or not I wanted to do a "typical" September 11 post.

I have so many mixed feelings on this day.

Do I remember exactly where I was? Yep. I was on I-135, heading south to go into Wichita to work. I was just south of Newton when I heard it on the radio. I remember many, many more details of that day, but I won't bore you with them. I had just moved from New York a few years before that fateful day, and so I had the added worry of making sure that all of my friends who were still there were ok (they were). There was the added terror when I heard that a plane went down "90 miles outside of Pittsburgh", but no one would say specifically where, and it took me hours to get a hold of my parents by phone, only to find out that they were within 30 miles of the crash site in Shenksville.

Suffice it to say that every time I saw "Never Forget" posted somewhere today, I had to shake my head and wonder if it was possible for anyone to actually forget the events of that day. I remember more details about that day than I remember about either of my wedding days, or even the days when my kids were born.

I've been watching and listening to people all day as they've talked about being glued to their TVs, watching the replays over and over again, 10 years later. To be brutally honest, I haven't even looked at anything 9/11 related today unless it was put in front of me.

Does that mean that I've forgotten? Not at all.

Does that mean that I don't care? Definitely not.

What does it mean?

To me, I don't see the point in rehashing the events over and over and over again. They happened. We all saw it. There's nothing that we can do now to change it.

I think that the best way that we can honor those who died that day is to look ahead. Stop living in the past and look to the future.

Figure out a way to fix the problems in this country. Take care of our poor and homeless. Feed our hungry. Help our citizens to rebuild their homes and businesses after natural disasters.

I've never understood why people feel the need to send money to other countries to help the poor, hungry, or homeless people there, when there are people RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA who need the same help.

This might be going off on a little bit of a tangent, but work with me here....

I've always told people who were going through a bad breakup with a significant other - "You have to find your own happy place before you can be in a healthy relationship with someone else." And it's true - until you are happy on your own, you are no good with someone else.

I believe that the same is true with our country. We have to work on it first - we have to make sure that we the people are strong before we can do anything (in war or peace) with other countries. We have to be in our happy place. Our poor have to be fed. Our homeless need housing. I'm not saying to give everyone a handout to solve the problem, because that solves nothing. There are ways to fix "the system" so that the people who need a little bit of assistance to get over the hump can do it, and can become productive citizens.

I've been in "the system". I've been on food stamps. I have received cash assistance. I have received daycare assistance. I could list flaws in those systems that you would not believe. Once a person starts receiving these services, it is not always easy to get off of them. Those systems cause people to become dependent on them - I've witnessed it firsthand. I'm not going to go into details now, because that's not the point. My point is that there are so many "systems" and "programs" out there right now that need to be fixed.

Fix the things in this country that need to be fixed. Once that happens, I believe that other things will start to fall into place.

Maybe this is an overly simplistic view of things. In fact, I know that it is. But think about it - when we send bajillions of dollars to some other country to help them after a natural disaster, that is money that could have been spent here, helping our own citizens. Those citizens who could have been helped could have then theoretically contributed more to the local economy, which in turn helps the economy as a whole, and I think you can see where I'm going.

Anyway, before commenting, please bear in mind that I am about as anti-political as they come. I hate politics with a passion. I vote - but I don't vote for someone because of party affiliation or age or sex or race or anything else, other than what that person says he/she is going to do in office. I don't believe that anything that is going on in this country today is one person's fault, and I don't believe that one person can fix it. The only way that everything that is wrong with this country is going to be fixed is if we all work together to do it. Plain and simple.

And this whole post was my long-winded way of saying - let's honor the memory of the people who died on 9/11/01, look to the future, stop pointing fingers, and do something to clean up the mess that we have here today.


I have only two rules - don't reveal anyone's personal information, and be respectful. It's not difficult, honest. Now, go on and play.