It’s hard to put into words what that day meant. I can imagine folks from the greatest generation probably say the same when trying to describe Pearl Harbor. To say our world changed would be a drastic understatement. While there will be many commentaries on the ninth anniversary I want to focus on one particular aspect; hate.
Hate was what caused people from halfway around the world to decide to fly airplanes into buildings. Hate poisoned the hearts of those that attacked us. With that said, hate still exists today.
Like you, I wanted revenge. I’ll never understand why anyone would do something like this. No amount of government agencies or legislation will change what happened. However, each of us can.
I’m not asking you to forgive those that attacked us. To be honest, I have a hard time even thinking that is possible. Feeling angry for what happened was completely understandable but in order to move on we need to remove hate from our hearts.
Osama Bin Laden knew what he was doing. He knew taking down a few targets would not cripple our infrastructure. Instead, he wanted to plant a new venom, hate. He knew how we would react to these terrible events and he did them knowing that while he would not take down our empire he knew he could affect the way people think. He knew our hearts would fill with hate. He was right.
Look at our country post 9/11. Racial profiling is beyond ridiculous. We associate religions with terrorism. These events changed many perspectives on how we feel about people of certain faiths and origins. While it’s natural to feel sorrow, to feel anger, if we continue to allow hate to reside in our hearts from these events, Bin Laden will win. He will win because his hatred has spread to us, which was his purpose the whole time.
For the sake of those who died in the attacks and the wars following, for those fighting overseas, for those protecting us at home and finally, for our country, we need closure. Like many, those events have never left my mind. Hate hasn’t either. While some have been able to move on many have not. We’re still a divided country, we still have prejudices both racial and religious and until we remove that boulder of hate from our hearts, terrorists like Bin Laden will win. So I ask you, what will it take to remove hate from your heart?
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.