We remember the 11th of Sept. 2001, what we were doing when we heard the news. Unlike any other disaster — weather, volcano, building bombings and collapses — an attack on New York City’s tallest buildings and the Pentagon proved that our country was not safe. Foreign enemies got to us and killed thousands.
For all my previous life, wars happened far away. Americans were involved but the homeland was not a warzone. Warfare happened overseas; the oceans protected us. My father was an air raid warden during WW2 but my family was not really afraid of German bombs. Nor did we really fear Russian atomic attack later despite some precautions just in case.
Now we know the world is full of potential and real enemies who can attack at any time. We have joined the rest of the nations who have experienced warfare directly. It is a queasy feeling.
Of course, we had a terrible civil war long ago and still have domestic terrorists, but I wonder when we will have foreign armies battling here on land as well as from air. Hate is a regular part of human life and wealth is attractive, so there are many reasons for people to dislike Americans.
Among the motivations for waging war is elimination of wickedness. We appear evil to many foreigners because of our reputation for free sexual activity, greedy economic domination, pushy military invasions, and self-righteousness. We think others admire us and are jealous but many resent, reject, and condemn us.
9/11 might not be the end of it. Fear is understandable but hope is necessary. Let’s work toward whatever peace is possible.