I refer not to a hole in the ground but a hole in our hearts.
Nine years. To this day it does not seem that long ago. It seems a light year away not to mention a universe. The day that changed our lives. Much like Pearl Harbor changed our parents, or grandparents, lives. Every once in awhile something happens that defines a generation. It is a pretty safe bet that at this point, my generation, our generation has failed our test miserably.
We were deeply divided before the cowardly acts of 9/11 by a group of radical Muslims (most of whom were from Saudi Arabia). It was not a holy war however it was an attack on our way of life. This group hated us because of what we had and they did not. 9/11 was supposed to unite us as a country as Pearl Harbor had united this country two generations ago. For a while it worked. We were strong and we were united behind our country. Maybe our divisions were too deep. Maybe our hatred and misunderstanding of the other side was just too deep to mend. In a little less than a year those old divisions were just as deep as before and growing.
Nine years on and it has gotten worse. Who would have imagined a time in our country where a President's birth place, religion, and even loyalty to his country could be openly questioned as if they were commonplace discussions. Who would have imagined that military personnel returning from Iraq or Afghanistan or a veteran of another war could be painted as a traitor to his/her country just so that person would not win a political election.
We have religious groups attacking (verbally) another religion for the actions of a few and then playing the victim card for themselves.
President Bush told every single American in the days following 9/11 that Islam was not the enemy, that radical Muslims (al Queda) were. We did not need to fear moderate (the majority of the religion by the way) Muslims. He made a great point ... that was largely ignored in order to score political points and to keep an American populace already scared to the core that they were no longer safe on their home soil terrified.
So it has continued with President Obama. What he considers (and he is correct in trying) attempting to mend the wounds and bridge the gap between our country and moderate Muslims around the world, his political enemies see as cowering to the enemy and showing weakness just so they can score political points with their base and keep them terrified.
I do not believe that it is too late to unite as a country and show the rest of the world that we are not down for the count and that we will come back stronger and greater. It is going to take full and real efforts by all political stripes, the extreme left and the radical left as well as the moderates.
We can not afford to let those who died on 9/11 to die in vain just because we want to win an election. It is a horrible way to remember those who perished.
*The title is in reference to The Eagles great song about 9/11, "Hole in the World".