Every American knows where they were on September 11, 2001. As many of you know, I was at work in downtown Manhattan just blocks away from the World Trade Center and I've written about it here three times: "September 11th" in 2011, "9/11" in 2013, and "911" in 2014. Today is the 15th anniversary of that horrific day - a day on which I always find myself in a quiet, contemplative state. As time has passed, the vividness of the images and memories of that day has lessened considerably being replaced with a heavy sadness for those who were lost and those who live.
The world changed that day and terrorism became a part of our global experience. Terrorism was not new on 9/11 but it was raised in the consciousness of every human being in the world that day. World War I, a.k.a. the Great War, was idealistically called "the war to end all wars" and we all hoped idealistically on that 9/11 that this monumental terrorist attack would be the last. Well, wars and terror continue to this day, the latter seemingly escalating rather than abating. Researching terrorist attacks since 9/11/01 revealed a staggering list that includes:
Aug 5, 2003 Marriott Hotel Jakarta, Indonesia
Nov 15/20, 2003 Istanbul, Turkey
Mar 11, 2004 Train bombings Madrid, Spain
Sep 1, 2004 Beslan, Russia
Jul 7, 2005 Subway London, England
Sep 20, 2008 Islamabad, Turkey
Nov 2008 Mumbai, India
Jul 2011 Oslo, Norway
Mar 2012 Toulouse, France
Sep 21, 2013 Westgate Mall Nairobi, Kenya
May 2014 Brussels, Belgium
Jan 2015 Baga, Nigeria
Jan 7, 2015 Charlie Hebdo Mag. Paris, France
Jan 9, 2015 Port de Vincennes Paris, France
Apr 2015 Garissa University Garissa, Kenya
Oct 10, 2015 Ankara, Turkey
Nov 13, 2015 Paris, France
Dec 2, 2015 San Bernadino, US
Mar 22, 2016 Brussels, Belgium
Jul 17, 2016 Nice, France
I don't know what to do with this. I hate the idea that we may need to accept that terrorism is a fact of life in the 21st century. I despair to think that there is so much hatred and intolerance in the world. I'm disheartened not to see a solution or end to all of it. I'm overwhelmed.
So on this day that symbolizes all of this for me, I will simply pray ... for us all.