9/11 is Personal For Our Family
In the last few weeks I keep thinking about 9/11 and how it affected my life. I think the fact that this is the five year anniversary has me thinking about what happened to us that day and it is replaying over and over in my mind, more so than it did last year or in 2004.
I think for the first time I will write up my experiences of that day and how our family experienced it. Our experience that day was very personal and it was very close to home as my husband was to be in the World Trade Center at that exact moment in time. I will then post it on my blog, if anyone cares to read it, they can.
Of course on a larger scale, terrorism threats and the situation in our world today also bothers me greatly, to such an extent that I will admit to trying to stick my head in the sand out of self-preservation. I feel so frustrated by the terrorism, and so disempowered that it is almost maddening, so it is easier and better for me to try to pretend that I am ignorant about it. (My husband follows this closely, so I guess I defer to him to be the one in the family who is very informed. We talk about it, nearly daily, with me asking what is new in the news. He also reads books about Middle East issues and terrorism and U.S. Government, and he tells me what each book’s spiel and bias was.) I know we have serious problems but I am trying to pretend we don’t. My energies are needed elsewhere: taking care of myself and my children, homeschooling them, etc. I can’t take on all of the problems of the world, I can’t solve them, and thinking about them all the time would only make me a basket-case.
I also am resentful that my upbringing and public education taught me nothing about the history of the Middle East or of the current events. I feel unprepared to fully understand the issues. For example I never learned why at one point the Middle East was so powerful in the world yet why that stopped, and why they are living in third world conditions. I don’t know much about the Muslim religion. I don’t know enough to know the difference between the fundamentalists and the jihadists vs. the ‘other Muslims”.
On the subject of public school and religion I am told by other parents that American schools now teach children about religions but not about Christianity. It is assumed that the student is Christian and knows certain basic, important things about Christianity already, and the other religions are portrayed as ‘world religions’. I resent this because it is snobbish, in my opinion. Students who are not Christian (who are practicing what the teachers consider a ‘world religion’) are then deemed outsiders. Also American-born non-religion-practicing students are left out of the loop. Children such as me who were raised with zero religion don’t then learn the basic Christian foundation that some people apparently feel that students already know. The Pagans will tell you that they are completely left out of the loop, with some not even realizing it is real, or some thinking that certain things are “make believe” or Halloween fun-related. I find it interesting that some teachers can think that teaching about Christianity in public school is mixing the state and religion, but teaching about a ‘world religion’ is not mixing the state and religion. In order to understand all people, all religions must be taught in some manner, so that intelligent dialogue can take place to compare and contrast different views, and to also understand many historical events. For example someone told me the reason that there are huge gaps in world history in American public schools is that they are not allowed to teach the Reformation period as it is too religious.
Back To My Family and 9/11
Additionally we feel some impact today. Specifically, we feel that SEC regulation changes in my husband’s industry in reaction to 9/11 to try to prevent any possible future negative impact on the investment industry when/if a future attack on a certain city occurs, has changed his industry, limiting jobs in central locations. Specifically, the regulations require that offices be spread out over large geographic regions, with satellite offices being certain distances away from each other. Also there are limits and schedules about who can be in the office on any given day, with employees required to commute to other satellite offices or telecommute on certain days, just in case an office building is bombed and all the people in it die, that other employees will be away and still alive to carry on business.
Frankly I think that most people rarely think about it. Sadly and scary as it may be, I think that a good number of people don’t realize the threat of terrorism that I feel is still alive and well today. For many Americans, life is back to normal and apathy reins.
I partly blame the media for American citizen’s apathy, who largely keep the news reporting brief or focused on completely stupid reports. For example my friend told me the other day that Katie Couric actually had her colonoscopy procedure televised---the grossest and most disempowering procedure I can imagine was televised for the world to see. Why? Who wants to see it? I don’t think anyone wants to see that. What respect I did have for Couric as a professional is now gone. It is one thing to watch a medical show that shows procedures, but it is entirely different for us to watch a newscaster go through a procedure. I would love to know what she and her network were thinking. Reality shows are what they are: they are real people who the shows try to portray as doing real things (in reality they are very edited and some of it is staged or provoked by the Producers—I know as I was in my friend’s episode of “A Baby Story”). Let the reality shows show regular people and let newscasters be talking mouthpieces for news shows. The two things are entirely different. And one more think, my friend also told me that Couric went on and on about Tom Cruise’s new baby yet she did no reporting on a big terrorist development in Denmark. The problem here is that American news is largely dumbed down. Americans are used to being spoon fed information, it is like a habit. Many people don’t compare or contrast the information they hear. Some or many believe everything they hear. So when the media dumbs down the news reporting it dumbs down America.
The behavior of automatically believing everything we hear is something I think is taught and learned in American public schools but that could be another whole discussion, so I’ll hold my tongue on having a big rant about that for now. I don’t mean that schools teach kids to be that way so they can be brainwashed by the media but I mean that we learn it in school and that behavior stays with most people for a long time, with negative ramifications.
So anyway, 9/11 is never far from my mind. I am glad that on this 5th anniversary it seems to be on everyone’s mind.
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