It seems strange and yet fitting that my first blog would be on such a melancholic occasion. I'm not the greatest writer in the world, nor am i the most intellectual, i am however filled with so many thoughts and ideas to share that sometimes i feel as if i will implode if i do not share them and i have an intense and undeniable desire to do so in a public type forum. I have no problem with feedback, as long as it is kept civil, so feel free to respond at will.
We all have so many memories of this day. Even the youngest of Americans who were alive at the time, even if they were still kicking in their mothers womb, has been irreversibly impacted by the attack on our country that came that fateful September day. I sat this morning and showed a memorial book to my youngest son, who is 4. As i did my best to help him understand what the tragic and beautiful pictures represented to me, i was saddened to find within my own heart a kind of disappointment with the direction the American people have chosen in the last 10 years. I was forced to look at the society around me in an objective manner and ask a difficult question; have our enemies succeeded at their ultimate goal of tearing at the fabric of our culture?
There is a disquiet within me when i ask this question; a kind of patriotic squeamishness. I believe that we believe we are still strong as a nation, that we are a community, that we have not changed for the worse but come closer as a kind of "American Family", but is what we believe true? I look at the press and see our disappointment with the government, I see our disinterest in the military activity overseas, except to protest of course, I see our financial issues as a country...all of these things are just the "tip of the iceberg" as they say. We still sing the national anthem at our High School ball games. We still honor our vets here in middle America, but honestly, if I have to really step back and look at it, is there a proactive attitude towards patriotism here? Is there an interconnectedness that comes from a group of diverse individuals coming together for a unified purpose through the catalyst of tragic events? Are we more patriotic? Are we further entrenched in the belief system that gave birth to our country from the bloodied and beleaguered fields of war?
I'm waiting for the Air Raid/Tornado siren this morning. Will it go off? Do we really want to remember? 10 minutes. In 10 minutes will i hear the evidence that the truth of this tragedy isn't a forgotten or uncomfortable issue couched in a political correctness that is choking out the very soul of what makes us Americans? I don't know. Maybe. The truth has to be; what does it matter? Personally i would very much like to know that the community i belong to here in NW Indiana is more patriotic than just picking up cheap t-shirts and car magnets from Wal-Mart to commemorate the occasion. I'd like to believe that the people i pass by as i walk my daughters to school in the mornings believe as i do; we have the privilege of living in the most amazing, beautiful and unique country and that we would do whatever was necessary to protect our families, our communities and our way of life. Regrettably,that's not what i hear in the stands of those High School ball games. It's not what i hear in line at the local grocery store. It's not what i hear at the PTA and school board meetings.
5 minutes....Back to the question; does it matter? If i do not hear that siren is it going to change what i believe about God and Country? If i don't hear that reminder of the vicious attack on America as a citizenship of diverse humanity that chooses to come together each day and walk out our acceptance of our inalienable rights in every venue from that grocery store check out line to the walk to school every morning, will it dishearten me? Yes, but it will not take away my belief in what this country is and what it stands for. I am a patriot, through and through. I say the pledge with heart, I cry when the Star Spangled Banner is sung (correctly!), I vote, I pray and regardless of whether the community i belong to believes as a whole that this day should not be forgotten, i will choose not to forget and i will teach my children what i remember, the way that i remember it.
1 minute ago was the exact anniversary of the first attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. There was no siren. It is left to me, to you, to all of us, to remember.