9/11-Special Commemorative Message—From Kaydee Barnett
I am taking a break from the usual humorous sass to commemorate this day in our nation’s history. There is no denying the blanket of grief, pain, rage and overwhelming emotion surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks that covers our nation. Those of you who have followed me since I wrote the One Life to Live recaps back then until now know that this day brings out a very different kind of sass in me.
Back in 2001, I expressed how outright enraged I was. No, readers, I do not believe that I was any angrier than everyone else in our nation, I’m saying I was angry FOR everyone else. I was angry not just about the obvious property destruction and senseless loss of life, but about the extended victims created by the terrorist-inflicted deaths. The death toll back then reached a minimum of three thousand and counting, but those numbers didn’t include the families of the deceased. The ones who would live on to remember the pain, and wonder why it all happened.
Now, I stand mixed with a new anger, and a new strength all at once. I hate how paranoid we have all become. I hate the prejudices the attacks have invoked. People are afraid to fly, travel on commuter trains and heightened levels of security precautions now put regular citizens under a microscope. Some of us are guilty of improperly profiling people who we once laughed with, and fearing that they may be the monsters who attacked our beloved nation.
Yes, readers, that makes me angry. Who the hell died and gave those animals the right to cause such chaos in humanity? And what’s worse, they didn’t even have the courage to take responsibility for their own decisions. They hid behind a code of honor and blamed Allah. No God would order a massacre of innocents to settle a battle of the ego. No mere human being would ever be granted Divine Powers to play judge and decide to wipe out a nation. That is the thought process of a coward.
And then I take a deep breath and tap into the strength of the past decade. We have rebuilt the site, and we accept the extra baggage checks. We pause a minute before wrongly profiling just any old person from another nation. We endure the excessive videocasts of the burning towers and the crashing planes with more control. We can all unite in conversations about the attacks and it is now a way to bond, not battle. We have learned to travel with caution, not debilitating panic. We have not closed our minds to the possibilities that terror can strike at any time, but we no longer allow the terror to come from the prejudices and barriers of our own paranoia. The only way to fight the horrors of ignorance is to empower ourselves with respect for cultural differences and remembrance of how damned angry the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks made us.
Let us continue to rebuild our strength by remembering how tired we were of being victims, and let’s fight back by not becoming handicapped by our own paranoia and prejudices.
God bless you all, and my prayers go out to all of the victims, families and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us.