History is generational. Each generation has their view, their perspective. Some of that perspective translates. Often, it doesn’t. We have no idea the real perception of the people who lived their lives 2000 years ago. We struggle to understand the perception even 200 years ago.
In the early morning hours of December 7th, 1941 our nation was seized by a declaration of war. It was unprovoked. The United States was a nation emerging from a depression and from a split in political ideology. We were a nation struggling for identity in an ever changing world. The greatest nation on earth without any self confidence. Those early morning hours changed all of that.
For some, those scars still remain. The aftermath 70 years later is still far reaching, both in the U.S. and abroad. Some memories linger. But as our nation grew into the paranoia of the 50s and into the chaos of the 60s the perspective began to change. By the time the 70s and 80s came and went, many had simply forgotten the impact that single day had.
In the waxing hours of September 11, 2001, our nation was seized by another declaration of war. To say that it was unprovoked would be to misunderstand a bigger picture. But that’s not to say it was a level playing field. We had been fighting terrorism for decades. Battles were already being waged. The bigger picture is to understand we were fighting battles against a foe with no honor. A foe with no motive other than to terrorize. There were no armies being assembled or constitutions being drawn. We were battling a foe who simply wanted to see things burn.
9/11 was a declaration of war.
In the aftermath we saw a nation unite against an enemy. We saw a nation put aside her differences and pull together to sort through the rubble. We put ourselves into action to hold those accountable, and to prevent it from happening again.
But our foe has no honor. Which means the playing field is still anything but level. We have engaged in battles to win a war where the rules aren’t applicable to both sides. As a result, the clear lines of success have been blurred. As we move further and further away from that fateful day, our perception begins to blur as well.
For many, including myself, the scars remain. The hurt, the pain. For many, the wounds are still fresh. But for others, we’ve become a nation struggling for identity once more. We are without self confidence. And the most far reaching ripple is that we’ve chosen to fight amongst ourselves. We are no longer a nation united against an enemy.
But a foe without honor will eventually eat its own.
We need to remember that, and hold true to our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. We need to disprove that history will teach us nothing, and we need to remember. We need to break the pattern and pass on the perception to the children. We are still searching through the rubble, looking for survivors. We are still looking for answers. But our generation lost isn’t gone forever.
Today, September 11 is the day we remember.
Today is the day we renew our vows to those we did lose.
Today is the day we renew our vows to those left behind.
Today is the day we take back that lost generation.
Today is the day we renew our vows to make a compromise with each other and not a sacrifice.
Today is the day we become a UNITED STATE once more.