That Day: Nine Eleven, September 11th, 9/11 begins: “Six a.m., and I’d just finished a long night on patrol….”
“My lamentation for those lost goes beyond nationalistic or even personal, but down to the root of humanity that empathizes and actually feels the others. That day, it was if a part of my flesh were cut away, and those people were MY people, but I didn’t make it a cause for further hatred and intolerance of others as so many have done.
And for all they died in such terror, I feel a peace for them now. They are all there. They are at rest and don’t have to endure such as we anymore. They will only know joy, however and by whomever or whatever supplies it. That is my belief, so I can embrace them, and though it still can hurt, I am not consumed by agony. Though I hate how they died, I won’t let their deaths make me into something that exists with hate or darkness.
The man who jumped to his death from the building, the one caught by Richard Drew in the photo called “The Falling Man,” made me think of this quote:
“When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” —Chief Aupumut, Mohican 1725
P.S. 9/11 has become a rallying cry and touch point in modern America, where each may and are required to imagine those last terrible moments for so many, and use it to fuel their convictions. Usually against anything or anyone stereotyped to be Muslim, anything or anyone as a threat to the USA superiority or justice. Yes, heavy irony there.
Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Jamestown, Staten Island (bet you didn’t even think of that one), Rhode Island, a thousand more, known and unknown in whitewashed history of Native American genocide. As strong and poignant, by nature of our spirits and beings, and because of our connection to each other past and present, be it a hundred years ago or a thousand times thousands, Native Americans don’t forget, especially in that American selective memory, concern and altruism is hypocritical. It’s just another “order of the day”.
For further thoughts on American history, immigration, society and politics, the 2020 article at Medium, “When I Think About America”.