As my nation dwells upon the tragedies of this day 16 years ago, I see the little flags that have been placed at the junctions of street and driveway and ponder many things:
I think back to that day, when I was a new mother holding my 2 ½ -week old daughter while watching footage of planes crashing into buildings and wondering: “What kind of world I have brought her into?”
I ponder the tragedies that every nation has to look back upon that have been so destructive to their collective psyche.
I ponder the tragedies of the American Revolutionary war, the American Civil War (isn’t that an oxymoron?!) the first World War (that was the big one; the war to end all wars…hmmm), WWII, Korea (oh, right that was not a war semantically), Vietnam, Gulf wars: I ponder it all in wonder at how we can go on fighting other humans in the name of humanity.
As a mother, I have to referee arguments between my children. Sometimes the children have legitimate issues over which they are disagreeing. Most of the time it is simply one child’s preference or intolerance of the other’s activity. Mostly I simply let them work it out between themselves. There are times, though, when I have to intercede and make each of them separate to reflect or just rest their minds from the subject. I am a big proponent of diplomacy and one of the diplomatic solutions we use is to have someone agree to just stop. That becomes the end of the argument. Nobody takes blame; nobody is “right”. It simply ends and then there is time to figure out a better way to live with what one finds problematic.
I think I will honor a friend’s brother with my flag. He rests in a cemetery next to my friend. This is what I love about being American; the freedom to choose and do what I see fit, as long as it does not tread upon the liberty of others. For this I will thank him.