Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Life Is Short And There Is No Time For Hate

Chris Stirewalt wrote in his Haltime Report, “Every first responder, air traveler and officer worker moves through a world remade by 9/11. And every American old enough to remember─which is now only about two thirds of us─responds to potential dangers differently because of what the members of al-Qaeda managed to do that day."

“What we have rushed to forget, though, is the lesson we so badly wanted to learn in those raw, wrenching days after the attack as the spider web of grief spread across the country from New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.”

“One of the most treasured and often repeated sayings about 9/11 is the line from the widow of Jason Dahl, the pilot of Flight 93, the doomed airliner that, perhaps thanks to the courage of passengers and crew, crashed in a former Pennsylvania coal mine rather than its intended target of the U.S. Capitol.”

“A year later, Sandy Dahl returned to the scene as part of her mission to build a fitting memorial for her husband and the 39 other Americans who died there. She said, ‘If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.’”

“Her comments resonated because Dahl expressed what was so much on the hearts of Americans. The attacks came during an era of viscous political infighting. We had a failed impeachment two years before. And just 10 months before the attack, a presidential election had remained unresolved for 41 agonizing days. Cynicism abounded.”

“We had been narrowly, bitterly divided. We had been hateful to each other. We had put party over country. But no longer, we said. Our new motto would be simple: United we stand.”

“And for a time, it seemed like it was working. But in truth, the most rotten practitioners of the dark arts of division were only waiting a decorous period of time before they resumed their incantations. It didn’t really matter who broke the truce, because once it was broken all sides swiftly resumed their work of scraping down what remained of our civic virtue for their own advantage.”

“We only wished we had learned not to be cynical and hateful. Like Dahl, we wanted something of real meaning for the country to come from something so painful. But we were only wishing.”

The 9/11 commemorations are by now familiar rituals, centered on reading the names of the dead. But each year at Ground Zero, victims' relatives infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, inspiration and concern.
Other relatives laid bare the toll their losses had taken on their families. Thomas Langer said his brother Timmy, “drank himself to death” over the grief of losing his wife Vanessa and their unborn child on that horrific day.

“I witnessed my brother endure the pain that no human being was ever meant to bear.”

Nicholas Haros Jr., whose mother died in the ill-fated World Trade Center 17 years ago, slammed Democrats for politicizing the terrorist attack after he read off the names of victims during a memorial service in Manhattan.

“This year, a representative of the House referred to our loss as just another incident,” Haros began, referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who called the tragedy the “9/11 incident” in June. “This year, a network commentator said the president’s performance in Helsinki was a traitorous act as was 9/11,” he said, recalling comments made by former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks on MSNBC. “And last week, a senator attacked a Supreme Court nominee and called him a racist for alleged comments after 9/11,” Haros concluded, referencing Senator Cory Booker’s false accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh supported racial profiling after the attacks.

“Stop. Stop,” Haros pleaded. ”Please, stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as props in your political theater.”

“Their lives, sacrifices, and death are worth so much more. Let’s not trivialize them or us. It hurts,” he said. “To my mom and to all of you and your loved ones: Never forget.”

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