I’ve been seeing this above shared on social media and I agree with the sentiment but the days, weeks and months after 9/11 weren’t the best time for America. Yes, people held hands and sang “God Bless America” to their heart’s content.
But there was trouble brewing. In the small rural town in southwestern Georgia, there was pressure on us at the newspaper to go after some of the brown-skinned people with “money and possible connections.” I refused but another reporter did and to this day, 20 years later, I don’t know what it accomplished except racial profiling and religious persecution.
So, I miss 9/10.
I miss when people kept their religion to themselves. Yes, even in a small rural Georgia town, there still was some consideration for other religions. Now, there’s a major diversity in America among people of different religions. Christianity and particularly Evangelicals decided they had to have to a line drawn in the sand.
I miss 9/10 when thousands of people who would die in Afghanistan and Iraq had no idea there would be two wars being fought in the Middle East. I also miss when people of Middle East ancestry weren’t constant targets for years as the result of racial profiling by people quick to anger and quicker to violence.
I miss 9/10 when George W. Bush was almost certain to be a one-term President. Yes, he may have read a good speech yesterday but he should’ve done his best to prevent the events of 9/11. He had been President for almost nine months. He screwed up.
Despite what he says in a speech that someone else written, he is responsible for the events that happened. He is also responsible for the incidents that happened afterwards. He may paint pictures as a 75-year-old man, but he is still a war criminal. He’s not Atticus Finch.
Maybe now, he realizes the errors of his ways, but it is 20 years too late. W. said it in his own words, “You’re either with us or you’re against us.” There was no unity. There never was.
I miss 9/10 when someone who had a bad heart would years down the road get the heart transplant that the other war criminal Dick Cheney ended up getting.
I miss 9/10 when people didn’t act like they could carry semi-automatic rifles around America to defend themselves.
I miss 9/10 when it looked like we were becoming more advanced in the 21st Century rather than sliding closer to fascism and authoritarian rule.
We can’t change the past, but we can change the future. But how is always the hardest part.