I usually try to stay away from political opinions but today, 9/11/10 that is difficult to do.
To begin with, I live in Florida about 90 minutes away from Pastor Terry Jones who wants to burn the Quran. He is passionate about his beliefs, I do not doubt that. We have the right to religious freedom in this country of living free, but freedom is never free. It comes with a heavy price tag paid for with the loss of life we have all experienced in generations of wars. Pastor Jones could set up an invoice of revenge and the repayment plan could cost us dearly over time.
In the report that was released yesterday from homeland security, using a commercial airliner is still the #1 way terrorists want to use to bring our country and the world to it’s knees once again. The Christmas Day arrival of the flight into Detroit is clear evidence of that.
The building of a mosque near ground zero is just so “in your face” wrong. I understand the feelings that go through people’s minds because of two places I have visited in my life.
In December of 1993 I was in Augsburg, Germany and outside the town is the concentration camp known as Dachau. Being a child of the 60’s my favorite book then was The Diary of Anne Frank. My partner at the time refused to go with me, so I went alone. As I walked over the cold ground I felt my own feet walk in the footsteps of all those who had been taken there to be exterminated. I was angry and sad, so very sad. I knew I was walking on a graveyard.
My second glimpse of how this pain never ends came before Larry and I were married. We had an opportunity to go to Oahu and we were off for 10 glorious days in Hawaii. It was only natural that we would go to the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
In 2 waves of attacks 353 Japanese aircraft bombarded our base killing 2402 men and women and wounding 1282 more.
There is a museum,there are unnerving movies of the actual attack, and then we walked out on a platform built over the USS Arizona. We stood there and we looked down into the water where we could see the ship, and one more time I found myself standing on a graveyard. As we looked around we saw many Japanese tourists taking pictures. We found we were deeply emotionally disturbed that they were taking pictures of the very attack perpetrated by their country.
60 years later the pain remains.
We must never forget the horrors of the camps, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or 9/11/01.
I worked as a pharmaceutical rep and was in and out of NYC from 1998-2002. Our training center was in New Jersey. As a matter of fact I flew home to Chicago from the Newark airport on 8/11/01 on a 7AM flight. The terrorists picked those early morning flights for the fact that they were not usually full flights.
3 years ago Larry and went to NYC for a long weekend. We went to ground zero. We went to the museum, we stood on the suspended walkway staring down into the ground. My past memories of the World Trade Center buildings up until that visit were centered around the times my brother would take me there for drinks at Windows on the World and how I would hope that my drinks would stay “down” as we descended from the bar in those high-speed elevators. They had to eventually slow these elevators down because people were tossing their drinks when they reached the first floor.
I have fond memories of concerts on the plaza too. I spent many wonderful summer and fall days in NYC over the years and it took my breath away the first time I landed at Newark after 9/11 and there were no twin towers on the horizon which I had always seen before.
What we saw after the attack looked like a brand new excavation site rather than a site where recovery was still going on. But then reality kicked in and we realized we were looking at yet one more graveyard. When you walk, stand or look on the graveyards where so many people tragically lost their lives anywhere in this world, you know that you are standing on hallowed ground.
We opened our arms all these years to the oppressed of many countries. It is time that the very people who came here to be allowed to live free understand that they must pay the price too. That price is simple, build your mosque elsewhere. You have the right to practice your religion by our Constitution, but ethically and morally it is time to apologize for creating this discord over the location. Go build it peacefully somewhere else.