Always Remember 9/11

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. Always remember 9/11. Terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City and into the Pentagon. A third plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Its passengers, aware of what had happened, fought back and sacrificed their lives.  First responders selflessly struggled against impossible odds to help survivors and evacuate those in danger. Many first responders lost their lives, too.  Thousands died that day. It was a day that changed America. Our sense of safety shattered. Our isolation from what happened overseas vanished. Time is Relentless Families were forever changed on that day. Witnesses near the Towers were also changed. Some have physical reminders—old injuries or chronic injuries from debris and dust.  Time has claimed some of those who watched the Towers crumple. For some eighteen years was a lifetime ago. They never saw that day. And unless the tragedies touched their families, they do not know or feel the solemness of the day.  Memory Fades The nation’s collective memory is fading.  Thousands died. It didn’t matter what color their skin, what religion they did or didn’t follow, or what their sexual preference was. They […]

Do You Know These Facts About the Fourth?

Fourth of July is a holiday celebrating the independence of the United States of America. Do you know these facts about the Fourth? The Cost An estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in the Revolutionary War. Another 8,000-12,000 died of disease while prisoners of war. Why it’s Important  For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear. Aung San Suu Kyi You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it. John Adams (Founding Fathers) Okay, those aren’t facts, but you should still know them. And now you do. What’s in a Name? It could have been called Resolution Day instead. The Declaration of Independence was first called the Lee Resolution, after Richard Henry Lee. Original Document Two hundred copies of the Declaration of Independence were made and distributed in 1776. Twenty-six have survived. An archivist discovered the twenty-sixth copy in 2009. 1776 Laptop Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on a mahogany […]

Underestimating the Value of Freedom

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” That’s a scary statement. Why on earth would he say something like that? To paraphrase him, freedom isn’t in our DNA. Freedom must be fought for and protected. Americans, particularly white middle-class folk like myself, underestimate the value of our freedom. And because we underestimate it, we lose bits and pieces of it and tell ourselves it will be okay. We underestimate how taking freedom from others also chips away at our freedom. We underestimate it because we make assumptions about what freedom is. Definition of Freedom Before you can fight for your freedom, understanding is necessary. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, freedom is “ 1: the quality or state of being free: such as a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: independence c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous freedom from care d: unrestricted use gave him the freedom of their home e: ease, facility spoke the language with freedom f: the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken answered with […]