September 11th, 2009

Ever since the terrorist attacks on the world trade center in 2001, I have used this day as a day of reflection. It was the first day of my adult life when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life would change forever as I watched events unfold. My heart broke as I watched the buildings collapse on CNN. My confidence in my safety sank and for weeks afterward, I didn’t sleep as soundly as I normally do.

Each year, on this day, the anniversary of the WTC collapse, I like to write a blog post and offer my heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones that day, but this year it feels a little bit different for me. I still feel for the families of those who died, but somehow I feel more as if there was something I lost that day too. We all did.

We all lost a little piece of our freedom.

In our fear of terrorists and what they could do to us, in our shock at the horrors and atrocities that we watched take place on our own soil, we allowed a law to get passed that gave the government sweeping powers. Then we swung wildly in the opposite direction when our fear abated and now, we are going to pay the price for that choice for a decade or more.

It’s not that I dislike our president. It’s not that he’s a bad man or the devil. It’s that he doesn’t know the first thing about how to help an ailing economy recover and everything he’s implemented so far… has made things worse. The areas that are recovering are the ones that the government hasn’t touched. If they had left things alone… I think we would be ok right now. But as it stands… we are in trouble… and I think that this president needs us to continue to be in trouble so that he can continue to preach the doctrine of change.

Change is such a beautiful idea.

I love it.

When things are bad in my life, I want everything to change. I want to do something wild and crazy, just for a change of pace, but I can’t do those things. I have a commitment to my family, to my children and to my home. I can’t run away from the problems that sit and stare me in the face, just like we cannot run away from what happened in New York City on September 11, 2001.

What happened that day certainly gave us the sweeping change that our president prizes. It changed this nation forever and the people of this country have been so wrapped up in their tiny little lives that they have forgotten what happened. They have forgotten the pain because time has allowed it to dull. They have forgotten the loss because the media is more focused on pressing its own agenda. They have forgotten the sacrifices that people made to keep this country free and not soldiers. It was ordinary citizens, like you and me, that made the decision to give up their lives so you could sit on your butt and watch American Idol.

This nation should never forget the sacrifices made and the loss that we all experienced on that day.

I know I won’t.