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Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

Confessions of a Secret Muslim

This is an excellent article!  The author is a young Muslim woman who grew up in the US. At age 8, when the planes hit the twin towers, even at that age, her life and her self-perceptions changed forever, because of the bigotry she now faced, and still does, on a daily basis. AT AGE 8, one of her classmates, who on the previous day had been a friend, now screamed at her calling her a terrorist! This article tells of her sense that she needed to hide who she was, and what she believed, until she couldn’t do it anymore and spoke out. I salute her bravery and wish her well, I hope to read much more from her!

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Thoughts:

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?”
Eve Merriam

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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.
– John Lennon

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
– Lao Tzu

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
– Harriet Tubman

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
– Helen Keller

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.
– John F. Kennedy

Most people see things as they are and ask why… i dream things as they could be and i ask why not.”
– George Bernard Shaw

The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is intelligent non aggressiveness.
– Lao Tse (Lao Tzu)

Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.
– Buddha (560-483 B.C.)

Please post “I Declare World Peace” on the wall of your favorite social medium.

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Old Voices

We watched in horror as the 2nd plane hit

Dad rose from his near slumber, silent, intent

A look in his eyes that we both thought

We’d never see again,

I thought of old voices, of old angers, of issues long gone

Thought of second comings, can we begin again?

 

We listened to them as they told us what to do,

This is whom we need to blame, they said, and we believed them,

They told us what our truths were, it’s so much easier that way,

I thought again of old voices, things long dead and buried

 

Mary went to work this morning just like any other day,

Johnny had been long gone, his presence lost long ago

We remembered the day he came home, we didn’t go to the station,

Didn’t want to recognize what he’d done,

Couldn’t relate to him anymore, couldn’t reach his dark distance,

Thought of second comings, can we begin again?

 

We’d walk together on sundays, hand in hand,

The windows of Sauls’ Diner filled with portraits of

Those who didn’t come home, they stare at us, asking us why

Wish to hell I had the answers, but I know we’ll never get any

I thought of old voices, of old angers, of issues long gone

Thought of second comings, can we begin again?

 

We listened to them as they told us what to do,

This is who we need to blame, they said, and we believed them,

Truth was never the issue, it’s so much easier that way,

I thought again of old voices, things long dead and buried,

 

Thought of second comings, can we begin again?

 

 

 

 

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Things I remembered today, September 11, 2001

 

Grandma and her sister Kate were raised in Brooklyn, I remembered this morning, of all mornings, that when I was young, we stayed for awhile with our grandparents. I was always sitting in grandmas house, either in grandpas lap, and then when I was too big, on the floor, (I’ve always loved sitting on the floor for some reason) probably watching tv, or playing with whatever was handy, or reading one of those wonderful books I had as a kid, but definitely NOT doing homework, haha, I have very fond memories of grandma and grandpa, sitting in the kitchen, probably playing cribbage, the smell of the coffee, always on, their voices filled my head with the past, and I also remembered when her sister Kate would come over, grandmas middle name was Myrtle, and  Kate, who fiercely held onto her strooooongggg Brooklyn accent, would come in, always thru the back door, “ooooo Moiiiiitlee, come and sit down, I’ve got so much to tell you!” . They would talk about things in Vernonia (the small town they lived in) , but always it seems to me they’d always talk about Brooklyn too, so it came to pass that somehow, N.Y. has always been a part of my conscience, from hearing them remembering, from hearing about how grandpa came over on the boat from Sweden, thru liberty island, as most immigrants did back then, through to the west coast, so I guess it’s no wonder that I get along with New Yorkers the way I do, because I sort of feel, in one way or another that I understand, at least a little, about them, from my own family, anyways,, say a prayer for the families today, and I’ll send one your way too, love you all much, Dan

 

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Today marks the 10th year anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. There are so many others writing about it, I almost didn’t want to, but I feel compelled to write SOMETHING! So here it goes….

I decided that I should examine my own feelings about 9/11 and my own memories of that dreadful day and the days that followed.

I was still in bed, trying to ignore my alarm clock. Actually, it wasn’t my alarm, it was my phone ringing, a rare occurrence, and I of course had to find out who would dare ring me so bloody early or what the earth shattering event was or who had just died. It was, in fact, a friend, sounding very shook up. She asked me if I was watching the news because the U.S. was being attacked. I immediately turned on the news just in time to see the second plane hit. The images of that day, the planes hitting the buildings, the people jumping out from the buildings and then the buildings falling down are burned into my memory forever.

I remember the total shock, the disbelief, and the horror of the moment. What was I watching? How could this happen? Who on earth could do this? I felt like someone had stomped on my stomach, for a moment my mind was totally shut off, I couldn’t think, my emotions were ripped inside out from my depths to my skin and everyone could see them.

I stumbled, quite literally, to the bathroom and began, only on instinct, to get ready for work. How I longed for it to be April fool’s day. How I wished it were just a bad movie I was watching, or a trick, something like Orson Welles performance of War of the Worlds a few decades earlier.

Like a drunk without a memory, I had almost no idea how I made it to work, but I will always remember the feeling that day. The town and in fact the whole world felt like death. This was a death you couldn’t bargain with, couldn’t escape, couldn’t cheat or trick in a game of chess. This was ruthless, cruel and complete in its brutality.

There was an enormous hole in the world and it pulled me and everyone else in the world into it. It ripped my insides out. I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe that anyone could be so cruel, but the evidence was inescapable. I thought of my maternal grandmother who was from Brooklyn, and my many friends who had lived or still do, in New York City, I thought of the families of those who died, of the overwhelming sense of loss.

It seemed that everyone I came into contact with felt a similar grief. I also remember there were so many questions. The ones that journalists are trained to ask, I would suppose, who what when were why etc. but no answers.

Over the next few days, the Bush administration started to “explain” who did it, and started the war of words and propaganda to support its’ position and intentions to invade Afghanistan and then Iraq without support of the international community or the United Nations, setting off a sequence of events that I will, and it hurts me deeply to say this, never forgive my country for. (I will write more on this in another blog, dear reader, so if you’re curious stay tuned.)

Of course I felt tremendous anger about those events. There will never be a place in the civilized world for such brutality, but I also realized that it was a huge protest against much more than the United States. I will always believe that.  It saddened me that so many of my countrymen didn’t see that. I realized that people from all over the world, INCLUDING PEOPLE OF THE MUSLIM FAITH died on that day.

I thought then, and still do, that we need to figure out the true reasons why they felt it necessary to do this and what they felt they could gain. We need to take steps to deny them their power, to change the way we relate to the issues facing the Middle East so that they have no basis for recruitment. The United States needs to ensure that its actions in the Middle East are based solely on humanitarian purposes, without the intention of profit or the furtherance of imperialism.

I can say that I certainly feel I’ve changed from that day, as have so many. My view of the world around me has grown, my awareness of prejudice in America against Muslims has definitely heightened, and that prejudice saddens me deeply, especially when I realize that this anniversary will almost certainly fan those fires again.

When my Swedish friends ask me if I might want to move back to the States, I say, “No, it’s not in my plans”, then I smile and walk away. What I don’t say is that due to the dreadful actions of the Bush administration, the continued illegal holding of people in Guantanamo, the torture of prisoners of war, the rise of such idiots as Sarah Pahlin and the neo religious fascist Tea Party, and most of all the environment of hate and fear that the attacks have brewed in the U.S. I don’t want to live there.  I can’t be a part of that any longer because I no longer believe in the dream.

That is what I lost on that day, 10 years ago. Perhaps I’ll find it again. It would be nice.

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