11 September 2006

 

9/11 Remembered

I've not got a lot to say about what happened five years ago. Every time I think about it my heart beats faster; I get angry. There's ample room to debate the approaches taken by the Bush administration since then. I agree with some; disagree with others.

I've stated before that we should remember 9/11 because the people who would like to kill us are still out there. I still believe that, but I've learned that they want to kill not only those of us who live here in "Western Civ," but every soul that disagrees with their self-proclaimed Islamic perfection, modern or ancient; male or female; straight or gay; Christian, atheist, Jew, or Muslim. Like all with a self-proclaimed direct line to the divine, theirs is the way of endless death, endless destruction, endless desecration of the messy human lives we live.

I didn't get in on the remembering those lost in 9/11 fast enough to adopt the individual I want to memorialize. That's David Charlebois, who was co-pilot on American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon. He was an ERAU graduate, a member of GLEAM, the American Airlines gay and lesbian group, and a member of the National Gay Pilots Association. My institution has never honored him as a gay man, only as an alumnus, and I regret that. Not that his killers knew who he was: only that we remember him as an example of what is better about our way than about theirs. That we celebrate diversity rather than restricting it. That we believe that men and women of all beliefs can live together peacefully. That we accept our differences and exploit them to make us stronger, not use them as excuses to let the demons that live within us all kill and destroy every last thing that doesn't fit our narrow-minded, self-righteous, beliefs.

Let our world be one where we kill only in self defense, only to prevent others from killing us. But let those who would try to do just that never doubt our resolve to do whatever is necessary for us to protect our world, with its messiness, its questioning, its awareness and celebration of differences, from their murderous implulses.

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