Any time I see images of the events of 9/11, and certainly at this time of year I am overwhelmed with three emotions; awe at the heroics of those who those walked into the burning towers, deep sorrow for the pain so many families suffered and a deep, burning hatred for the hijackers and anyone remotely like them.
I am generally an easy-going guy. I forgive easily. But unburdened by a mandate to forgive, I keep the hatred of violent religious nut bags fresh within me. I see no reason to feel any other way about it. That kind of human sewage deserves every pain that might befall it.
Almost as Disturbing:
But today, in addition to all that, I felt a very disturbing bemusement. We are 15 years removed from that day. I expected the experience would have made of us a stronger people. I'm not alone in having thought on 9/12 that this would be our Great Depression or WWII. This would be the galvanizing experience that would make my generation and that of my sons finally measure up to our parents' and grandparents' generation. Watching history unfold today, it struck me just how wrong I was.
It only took a couple of years before our collective resolve waned. We started hearing about how war-weary the country was. War-weary! While "thanks for your service" is still heard, and very much appreciated, that is pretty much the extent of what this nation can stomach. We still haven't been tested. Not really. I often wonder if Americans possess the fortitude to endure a crisis like WWII. Thousands of telegrams every week for years, reporting the deaths of our sons (and now daughters). I have my doubts.
We are a nation more worried about safe spaces and politically correct, goddamned restrooms than we are the state of our nation and economy. We stood by and let an American President cash in our long-term security and that of our allies in exchange for status and kind mention in the Muslim world. (The phony Iran nuke deal and support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.) We are a nation that has placed, at the pinnacle of our national politics, a felon who has known only failure and corruption throughout her entire adult life and a reality TV populist who, to this day, gets his talking points off of Twitter. We still have a security and intelligence apparatus that stovepipes information. We allow our government to borrow us into inevitable doom and never question how that government can possibly continue to grow.
I am sure 9/11 changed many individuals. I am sure there are people who try to do their jobs better, especially military and first responders, because of that day. For a few years those lessons were likely passed on to the next trainee. But as a nation, as a people, we have generally gone backward.
Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!
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