Just Because I Haven’t Cried


 

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

We will remember

We are supposed to cry when something bad happens. It is perhaps the most human of reactions. No other animals cry to express their grief, even if they lose a friend or family member. They cannot.

Today, the eleventh of September, is perhaps the most “sad” day most living Americans can remember. Nine years ago today, over 3,000 people of all ages, backgrounds, and races lost their lives in a series of horrific attacks. They did not wake up that morning knowing they were going to die. It just happened, and they left hundreds of family members, friends, and complete strangers behind who asked themselves how and why this could ever take place on American soil.

That day, for me, began like any other…waking up, fixing some scrambled eggs (I still associate the smell of burning eggs with that day, as I neglected them as soon as I saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center Tower.) When it ended, I knew life would never again be the same.

And I don’t want this blog to be about me. It’s about honoring the memory of over 3,000 innocent people: office workers, first responders, airline passengers, all of whom were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many went in harm’s way voluntarily.

Still, I have a terrible feeling within me, like a dark tumor…because to this day, I’ve not shed a tear over what happened on 9/11/01.

Real American heroes

For those of you who think I’m some kind of callous, sociopathic monster…I’m not. To use a comparison, I didn’t cry when my beloved grandfather died either. Still haven’t. I didn’t cry when our little terrier had to be put down when I was 12.

People all struggle with emotion; people with autism wrestle with it. It is a foreign language which our tongues are not well-adapted to speak. We may not cry like “normal” people, but it doesn’t mean we don’t feel for them or empathize. We’re simply wired differently, and our language is not one that is very well-understood by and large.

I will always remember 9/11. I won’t cry over those who lost their lives, and the families who were left behind, because no amount of tears can ever bring them back. What I will do is this.

I will continue to honor the fallen by living my life in as honorable a manner as I possibly can. This does not mean living as a “label” such as liberal or conservative, religious or agnostic, white or black, old or young. It means doing everything I can do to make American better.

I will not stoop to committing senseless acts of violence or selfish, narcissistic “stunts” such as the so-called minister in Florida wanting to burn copies of the Koran. Acts of hate only breed more acts of hate.

I will take every opportunity to educate myself about current affairs, not limited to just America. Part of being a good citizen means being involved in the democratic process, using the right to vote which so many have died for me to have, and engaging in debate in a civil way.

I will pay respects to the military, police officers, firefighters, and first responders who put their lives on the line every day so I can sleep safely at night. We toss around the word “hero” so freely today…but it is these people who are the true heroes.

I will not judge people who have differences of any kind. 9/11 happened because of one group’s badly skewed perceptions of another group. It is impossible to judge an entire group by the actions of one person, or a small faction within that group.

I will not give in to a culture of fear. It is perpetrated by both sides of the political aisle, and I’m not about to give into it. Fear breeds suspicion, which breeds anger and hostility, which were the root causes of the tragedy that was 9/11/01.

I may not be able to cry for the fallen. 3,000 people died that day…but no doubt a child succumbed to cancer somewhere, and a mother was killed by a drunk driver, and someone’s beloved grandfather lost a battle with cancer. Bad things happen every day, in every part of the world. There’s nothing we can do to stop those tragedies, but we can pray for a better world and try to live our own lives in a better way.

And our flag was still there...

And there was a bit of irony for me after all those years. It so happened that I was watching an episode of an old TV show set in New York City, and there, in the skyline, were the Twin Towers, back from oblivion.

There was a tiny tear running down my cheek, but only for a moment. Then it was gone.

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.  ~John Taylor

Remember and honor those who lost their lives on 9/11/01…and also remember those who lose their lives every day of every week of every year. God Bless America.

I love hearing from readers…email me at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com.

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on September 11, 2010.

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