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Never Fade Away

today - SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 - i learned

Today I learned to love my fellow man. Unconditionally!

Today I learned that tomorrow is not guaranteed - for any of us.

Today I learned that not having a common super-enemy is a stinkin' excuse for common, everyday apathy.

Today I learned that dying for what you think is right is not necessarily right and that giving your life day after unrecognized day is much, much harder and more noble.

Today I learned that people who live mundane lives can rise to magnanimous heroism on a moment's notice and without forethought.

Today I learned that stranger eagerly seeks to bond to stranger when he knows for certain that he shares a common experience which produces a unified response.

Today I learned that my real family is not just the one who is with me when I am born, but those who are with me when I die.

May I never forget what I learned this day.

May the memory of this day and those who lost their lives never fade away.

Dear Andrew,

Thank you for your kind expression of sympathy. I had read "Beautiful People" during one of my prior excursions on your page and found it to be one of the loveliest pieces of poetry I had ever seen. It is fitting today. And I wish to say to you that YOU ARE one of the beautiful people, here and now. Thank you.

I caught the BBC's coverage of this tragedy when it was fresh and our own media were being somewhat protective of the magnitude and devastation to personal lives and also were not yet showing the sentiments of our self-made enemies. I was so heart-warmed by the concern and caring of brothers and sisters in the UK. We were unable to fully comprehend at first what was happening. Even as I saw the first airliner hit, and one side of my brain was saying "This is no accident..." and even after I realized that it was a terrorist attack, I just could not see how life could not go on from day to day as it always had.

This type of crippling halt is difficult to accept. The senseless loss of so many lives is difficult to accept. But as an act of terrorism, the mission failed. Our minds were filled with horror, not terror. Even as the spirits of these lives were departing from our midst, the heart of America united and was filled with brotherly love, not terror. And, yes, the need for retribution. Retribution is not the same as revenge.

Retribution says to the aggressor, "I have no desire to hurt anyone. As an arm of my belief, I cannot allow you to hurt anyone, especially those I love. Since I was unable to prevent your recent cowardly and evil actions, and will only be able to prevent your future cowardly and evil actions, I turn your own nature back upon you, so that you become the object of your destruction and not those innocent victims you randomly select, even your own brain-washed people."  

That is a poor attempt to describe what many of us feel - not just anger, but a need to rid the world of this destruction.   Ignorance and hatred cannot be destroyed by retribution. But future lives will be saved and we, who were once helpless to save, will have done our duty. No man needs to be told what his duty is. We feel it rise up in us. After the shock, after the horror, after the anger, we rise to the call of duty. Americans are not taught this. It is a byproduct of freedom.

Please pray for those who will feel our retribution and that no more innocent lives will be lost. Thank you.





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