Imagine All the People/Living Life in Peace

Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? I do. I was in my English class, as a junior in high school. It was first hour, and I disliked my teacher, Mr. James. I dreaded that class each day too, because I wasn’t friends with the majority of the class. We weren’t enemies, but we weren’t close, and in high school you like to be in your classes with your friends. Or, I did.

So, the reason I disliked Mr. James was because I didn’t think he was serious about teaching. I remember he was goofing off, talking to some students when a Spanish teacher came in to tell him to turn on the TV. There, I saw the destruction and heartache unfolding before my eyes. Honestly, it took a few minutes to sink in. We were under attack. Planes are flying into the towers. Planes are being highjacked. It was almost like it was some big joke. Except it wasn’t. Nothing about that day is remotely funny. I didn’t lose anyone I knew to that attack that day, but my heart hurts. Our nation was broken after that day. I never felt afraid until that day. I had gym the next hour, and they kept us inside in the gym. We didn’t do anything except sit. Some of us talked, but for the most part we were in silence. The school feared another attack. We’re not a big city by any means, but we’re close to Chicago, and have many steel mills around here. I remember thinking they were being paranoid, even though I was afraid myself, but looking back they weren’t. Obviously, nothing happened, but that day…you just didn’t know.

That day was also my cousin Alan’s first full day home from the hospital. He was born that year on September 5th. He was born with Down syndrome, and a heart defect common to that. So, he was in the hospital longer than most babies. I remember thinking “this poor baby was just born and will need open heart surgery in a few months, and on his first day home, tragedy strikes the country” and that it wasn’t fair. And it wasn’t fair. Not to him, not to us, not to the victims, or their families. It also isn’t fair to Muslims and individuals from the Middle East who are persecuted because of the radicals from that day and their actions. Kalen told me that a nearby Catholic church had their members go grocery shopping for Muslims living in the area because they were being harassed. I think many people, in their rage and hurt over that day, failed to remember that Muslims who were innocent were killed in those attacks. You cannot hate a group of people based on the actions of a few. That is like hating all Baptists because Westboro is batshit crazy (although I’ve had many bad experiences with Baptists in this area, namely their pastors who told me as a 15-year old, the year after my Dad died, that he went to hell because he was Catholic, I don’t hate Baptists. I don’t even hate that pastor. He’s ignorant, but I don’t hate him). It isn’t fair to them.

Hmmm, this is kind of a ranty post of remembrance right now. I think it’s because not only is it the 12th anniversary of that horrible, horrible day, but because it’s a day when racism seems stronger. A friend of mine served in the Marines and has told me he’s teaching his children to hate Muslims. He had his 4 year old daughter watching American History X. That movie screws with my head, and I’m 28!!! there are also a ton of posts about the Muslim march in DC and the bikers who are going there to protest it. It’s sad. Instead of just using today to remember the lives of the fallen, they’re turning it into what I feel is racially motivated. I might be wrong, but that’s how it feels to me at least.

Anyway, I’ll end this post here with some lyrics from my absolute favorite song (it’s tattooed on my back…the title at least) and artist.

“Imagine”

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

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