Although I wrote this on September 11, 2011, it seems relevant and timely to remember again before Thanksgiving.
As I sit typing in the Kastaina hotel, it is still 9/11 in California, but it is already 9/12 in Berlin. Today, I will attend a funeral for my mother-in-law, Gisela at 1 p.m. The air is fresh. The rain, thunderstorm and lightning which pounded the streets last night have left cool crisp air behind, but the sky is still dark and grey. The sky matches the streets and buildings and my mood.
I can’t believe it has been ten years since 9/11. As I read the International Herald Tribune over a cup of cappuccino, I am reminded of “The Reckoning” and of the facts. Nineteen men on four planes forever altered the course of my country and my life. As I watched people jumping out of windows on TV like flies and the towers fall like leaves falling off a Fall tree in the wind, I reassessed my life and death. To me, those twin towers represented all that is man-made in life. Steel which we perceive to be strong, is nothing when it is combined with fire and rage spewing from nineteen men filled with hatred on a “mission to kill”.
Did the “mission to kill” disease of hatred, like the whopping cough, pass that day from those nineteen terrorists to me, my country and my President? On October 7, 2001, the U.S. and Britain took to the skies in planes and began to invade Afghanistan. This “mission” was called “Operation Enduring Freedom.” On March 20, 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq citing evidence that Saddam Hussein has weapons of “mass destruction.” (None were subsequently found.) On December 30, 2006, Saddam Hussein was executed. On May 2, 2011, Bin Laden was captured in Pakistan, near a military training camp and killed. Were these missions of peace or hatred?
I personally don’t feel like the world is more peaceful today. So what can I do? I can only pray that God will help me, my beloved country and the world to embrace love. It seems that the greatest heroes of our ages where on a mission based on love. I think about Jesus, Ghandi, Reverand Dr. Martin King and Mother Theresea. What did they do that was stronger than any bullet or bomb? They practiced what they preached – LOVE.
How many times will I practice love today? How many times can I help someone today? How many times will I thank someone for helping me?
I will begin by thanking God. Thank you God – for this day, my family, my community, my country and our world.
Thank you – - – all who serve others and our country. I am grateful for this day, but I am most grateful for you.
May God bless the USA and the world with peace and love.