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Old 09-06-2011, 08:30 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Reflections on 9/11

In late August 2001 we returned from a year's sabbatical in Spain. By 9/11/ I was just getting reconnected to life in the USA. Then, ka-boom.

I woke up in California that morning and read on the Internet about the attacks. I was horrified, of course, and knew immediately that there would be hell to pay globally.

I am grateful that I did not own a television at the time. I think I got a less distorted and manipulated understanding of events from radio and newspapers.

I went to teach my classes at a alternative educational community, where there were no TVs either. I was never more appreciative of a group of people who are dedicated to nonviolence, global and self-awareness. There were no flags (there has never been a flag on that campus in 40 years), no nationalistic hymns, no political speeches, no denunciation of enemies, and definitely no military recruiting ever.

We just gathered -- faculty and staff -- in a circle and took turns expressing thoughts and feelings about what was going on. It was very helpful -- a good reality check -- to process the events as calmly as possible, in a contemplative environment with a diverse group of colleagues and teenage students.

Many of the teachers, parents and students at the school had family and friends in NYC. Some, it later turned out, had direct connections to people who died.

Having grown up in a community with many Holocaust survivors, I'm sensitive to the suffering of families and friends of murder victims. I wish I could have done more to help.

The peace community, like the war community, quickly got involved in organizing. Peacefultomorrows.org was among survivor groups who got out front and tried to prevent the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

My own kids were around 13 at the time. One of my daughters grew up to have two separate relationships with guys in the military. As a result, she has literally dozens of friends who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, most of whom returned with PTSD.
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