Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Divided We Stand

I must say, last night's presidential address from the White House couldn't have come at a worse time.  And from what I gathered from his speech, it would seem as though that is the overwhelming consensus of our nation.  On the eve of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred over a decade ago, killing so many Americans, I couldn't help but sit and watch the address and cringe at the thought of yet another war.  

No matter which side of the debate you stand, you can't help but feel the weight of the September 2001 attacks.  It is as if the ashes and dust from the fallen two towers still waft and linger in the air: it just hasn't settled yet.  

For a moment, I almost imagined that I was seemingly the only one still greatly affected by that horrifying day.  How naive. 

I walked into a small market yesterday afternoon and overheard a few employees gathered around the register reminiscing the day that our country changed forever.  As is almost a cliche anymore, they asked one another a very common question;"Where were you?"  They each had a different story, but each person remembered that morning with absolute precision and clarity.  

And I couldn't help but remember too.  

I think what is so unfortunate all these years later, aside from the glaringly obvious loss of so many human beings no matter their nationality, is that we cannot seem to move past the climate of terror at home and abroad.  

I remember the thousands of posters and flags that were proudly displayed almost instantaneously after 9/11 and how so many boasted a common slogan of patriotism: 'United We Stand'. 

How far from that sentiment we are today.  We are a nation fiercely divided.  And as much as we bicker amongst ourselves and split hairs over the future of our country, it seems more apparent than ever before that we are at war, with each other.  

I really don't like to dwell on the negative.  In fact, most of the time I am hard pressed against taking jabs at the "other side."  I'm just not a fan of political satire, because at the heart of almost everything comical in life, is a deeply rooted undercurrent of heartbreak and disjointed, opposing ideals.  Kind of like a comedian who pokes fun at the most depressing aspects of humanity.  We are divided.  

And I am not sure how to begin working to close that divide.  I may not agree with everything that is happening in our country, but who is??? Can everyone be satisfied? When has it ever been possible to make everyone happy?? 

Perhaps the only thing we can agree on, is that we aren't over what happened on this day in Manhattan, twelve years ago. I do not want to go backwards.  That is the honest truth. 

I know it may be wishful thinking, but I certainly do not want our country to enter into yet another war.  At the same time, I am horrified at the thought of what other human beings are enduring abroad.  

I don't have the answers, and I will not pretend to fully understand the various negative implications on either side of the debate, or for that matter, even the positive ones.  

But I do understand enough about the art of war to know that a divided front is much easier to manipulate and attack than a united one.  We are not standing together.  At least we can agree on that.  

It is as though we are in the greatest identity crisis of our time.  Who are 'Americans' anymore?? What do we stand for? How brave are we? Is corrupt intent of greed operating under a mask of 'bravery'?  Are we the world's policemen?  Do we want that job? 

We cannot seem to agree on any of those answers.  And yet, we must continue to live our lives.  We may have just so happened to have been born a U.S. citizen... But is citizenship born or made?  Both perhaps?? 

I'm sad today.  

I'm sad because I feel at odds politically with some of the people I love and admire the most; my friends and family.  Is that what makes our country weak or unique?  Hmmm, I just don't know anymore. 

I am slow to want to define myself on this issue because I do not see a clear picture on either side.  I do not see positive or constructive resolve either way the political wind is blowing.  

I just see my friends and fellow citizens at odds.  And all I can be sure of is that we are very far from where I hoped we would be.  

Today, I just hope that while we "Never Forget" what happened, or what could happen, I hope we also never forget how fortunate we are to simply be alive.  No matter what country you call home.  No matter where you live, what you do, who you imagine yourself to be; if your stomach is full today and you are able to mindlessly enjoy the warmth of a cup of coffee, well then we can agree that life is pretty good. 

Let's please, practice compassion and an act of kindness on this day, so that we may stand united, if only from that shared sentiment and action.  


Red, White, Blue
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Peach Schnapps or Vodka
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
Layered in a shot glass! 
Salute and shoot! 


  1. That is so moving, and poignant. I will try to be a little kinder today, and everyday, and maybe you can start a movement.

    1. +TimClark Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts as well. You made my day!