Monday, September 12, 2011

Can We Change the Script a Little?

Thank God THAT is over.

It is Sept. 12.

And yes, I've cried several times. My nine-year-old granddaughter saw a tape at school that sounds like it was pretty good. The school kids saw the new waterfalls and pools. She thought it was a nice gesture.

I tried to explain that yes, it was probably pretty nice, but the families still grieved.

Sept. 11 is supposed to be a day of commemoration and service. Didn't Obama and his daughter go help out at a soup kitchen or some such last year? Where was the service emphasis by Americans this year?

I went to church because I always do on Sunday, but I didn't go to mine. I went with some friends to theirs, and the adult Sunday School was participating in a four-week course on forgiveness.

It's healthy to forgive, of course. They also said no one should because they ought, but when they were ready. And then someone suggested I forgive the perpetrators of Sept. 11.

I don't hate the perpetrators of Sept. 11. The acts are too far over my ability even to understand. They are dead. We go on. We rebuild. But I don't forgive. I don't have to forgive evil. There's a dodge-ball organization I probably will never see with my own eyes to blame. That's all. I certainly am not mad at people of different faiths. I don't even agree with a lot of the people I'm supposed to share a faith with.

Would I let my grandchildren play with their kids? No. That's not hate.

Did we have to sit on our fat American rumps (and most of them are fat) and cry? Apparently. The news media entertained us with hours of maudlin reminescence and recapping and solemn ceremonies. And we accomplished zero good to offset the evil that still reasonates.

Next year, I'm cleaning up a park. Or I'm taking a page from the Egyptions and taking my broom down to sweep the streets around the city square.Or...something active, something good, something satisfying those good people who died might have enjoyed doing as well.

It happened in New York and changed their community profoundly. I understand in a more minor way that was not minor at the time.I lived in Dallas when John Kennedy was shot. I got out of class at noon and heard people talking. I began running towards my dorm and the television. And from noon that day till late Sunday afternoon on a college campus, I didn't hear a single laugh. Kind of like when we didn't see a single plane flying for days.

When I came home for Thanksgiving, I was shocked to hear old classmates away at other schools were given the day off to watch Kennedy's funeral. A lot of them slept in or used the extra time to go to parties.

Not in Dallas. And all these years later, we are still a little conscious all the time of the Fifth Floor of the Book Depository Building, from which an assassin killed a president.

All these years later, the pain is still there. More in Dallas, always will be. More on the East Coast for Sept. 11, always will be.

There has to be something we can do besides sit around and cry. Or glower.

Besides, I think it will be good for my soul.

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