Monday, September 13, 2010

beyond our sight

Somewhere up there a higher power may or may not be in control.

Except for a few lighthearted pieces on food and driving I fulfilled my summertime goal of clearing my mind by staying clear of my desktop.

And that my lightheartedness would end while looking into a clear blue sky is a bit of a surprise. Though, by comparison, it is very similar in nature to that of an early morning, just over nine years ago, that quickly led into the darkest of days in New York City. Hearts will be eternally heavy over the losses suffered on 9/11. Memories will be perpetually marred. Reflecting pools, memorials and monuments will be built. But we will not bring anyone back and we cannot turn back in time.

I knew a few people who perished that day, but no one who was close to me. Individually, whatever the level of pain, we carry on as best we can while continually working through the anger, sorrow and grief.

As a nation, following the attacks, we embarked on a war against the terrorists who happen to be Islamist extremists. Along the way, and through great controversy, our military has tried to improve the lives of the many other millions of Muslim people living in the war torn region. Nearly three thousand people were killed by al-Qaeda during the attacks on 9/11. Since that day, over five thousand American troops have been killed fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. Controversy included, and mistakes or not, our government and largely our citizens felt compelled to stay and help Muslim citizens rebuild their homelands into a better place to live.

I don’t expect the nation to ever fully heal from the emotional wounds rendered by watching the Twin Towers fall. But I do wish that a majority of us were able to discern that aside from the business dealings, greed and opportunism, the zealous and vehement opposition to the proposed building of a Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero is misguided.

And I don’t think the flames fanned by those who choose to desecrate the Quran should be confused with unhealed emotions. They are simply unhealthy extremes unto themselves.

How can we have the bravado to send five thousand troops overseas and to their death in defense of our nation and all that we stand for, including freedom of religion, and then be too afraid or too prejudiced to live the life we stand up for?

I suppose that I will never understand the mystery of a so frequently observed riddle. Why on earth is it, that mankind’s various quests for the divine so often spill over into fear, hatred and bigotry?

© 2010 Christopher’s Views

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