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Happy birthday, A Bit of Wit!

Seven years you've been around. You've done a lot for me in terms of chronicling my life since I started college in 2003. You recorded my college experiences, the ups and downs of moving, the people in my life, my dating, engagement, and marriage of my wife, April ([livejournal.com profile] hearts_blood ), my affliction with Crohn's disease, my Character Battle contests, my rants...we've seen a lot, you and I. Here's another entry for you, while we're on the subject of remembering.

We all know what happened 9 years ago. How can we forget? People and media keep saying "never forget 9/11." How can we? There's this sense that the media hypes us up now for the day; almost as if our media keeps wanting to pick at the scars left by the heinous events and keep the wounds open. We practically get it rammed down our throats.

And while certainly, it's an important day of remembrance, I think we've lost the sense of unity that enveloped all of us. Now, when I see or hear talk of this day, it's become politicized. Politicians try to use the events of 9/11/2001 for their own political agenda; unity and tolerance has given way to racism, bigotry, and "Islamophobia." Our fears are exploited, and people know that. Fear is the greatest salesman in the world (right up there with sex), you can sell anything with it--just take a look at our race for Governor in this state. Look at how the planned Muslim community center (which has a mosque in it) is being used and abused and made into campaign issues. Way to go, guys--let's distract ourselves from the other major issues that NY has, and exploit the state's fears, because Muslim = terrorist. Oy.

9/11 used to be a day of remembrance and unity. Now, it seems to be a divisive tool. I don't even want to get into that whole plan to burn Qur'ans. Way to go, people.

While I didn't lose anyone that day, I do remember the tension and the confusion that pervaded Suffern High School as the day's events unfolded; rumors that many more planes were hijacked, and a lot of misinformation. It wasn't until I got home that day that I saw what happened; it was horrifying. But I also saw the aftermath; people banded together. We were unified, and the feeling of goodwill that had come out of that tragedy was noticeable. I remember the high school doing an event after school a day or so after, where groups of students and teachers made a boatload of PB&J sandwiches to send down to the NYPD, FDNY, and other emergency responders.

Where did that sense of national pride go?

I also remember that it was just about a week prior to 9/11 that I had started my first job, working at the McDonald's at the Ramapo rest stop on the Thruway. At the time, McDonald's was selling New York Yankees collectable baseballs; during the promotion, I sold the most baseballs, and my boss had given me a ticket for a Yankee game (even though I'm a Red Sox fan, I wasn't going to pass up a ticket to see a ball game, especially since I'd never been to an MLB game at that point). However, I'd end up not going--the ticket was for the 9/11/01 game against the White Sox.

So there we go. Hopefully today finds you well; and I hope that even though today's a day we shan't forget, remember the sense of pride we felt following the attacks, and not how this day has becoming nothing more than a tool to divide and polarize people.

We need to move on.
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