It is a day of somber remembrance for every American. A day which we should take every opportunity to be thankful for our lives, our freedom and our God-given rights as an American citizen.
Oh, how I do love a good writer. Since the day I found this, I’ve waited almost a whole year to repost it. I wanted to repost it on the very day that would collide with it’s memory… that most fateful day in American History.
September 11, 2001.
Leonard Pitts, a 2004 Pulitzer Prizewinning columnist of the Miami Herald, gained national recognition for this widely circulated column that ran on that most bleak and numb day of September 12, 2001. Please, if you’ve never read this, take a minute. Listen, learn and remember.
We’ll Go Forward From This Moment
It’s my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.
You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward’s attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.
Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We’re frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae – a singer’s revealing dress, a ball team’s misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We’re wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though – peaceful, loving, and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.
Some people — you, perhaps — think that any or all of this makes us weak. You’re mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.
Yes, we’re in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We’re still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn’t a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn’t the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You’ve bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.
But there’s a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.
I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.
In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We’ll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.
THE STEEL IN US
You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don’t know us well. On this day, the family’s bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.
So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that’s the case, consider the message received.
And take this message in exchange:
-You don’t know my people.
-You don’t know what we’re capable of.
-You don’t know what you just started.
But you’re about to learn.
©Leonard Pitts, September 12, 2001
It’s the evening, so I’m close to writing this post-Memorial Day. It certainly will be by the morn. But let’s just take a nostalgic step back into yesterday, shall we?
I apologize beforehand for the obtrusive profanity that is hopefully only sporadically sprinkled throughout this blog – I will do my best to keep it at a minimum. For reason of content, I can already attest to the fact that I will never have that much sought-after ‘freshly pressed’ status on WP for this one… and I’ll just have to proudly suck that one up.
I spent pretty much all weekend at my guy’s house. After the party at his brother’s Saturday night, we swung by my apartment and scooped up my furbaby and we’ve been there ever since.
Memorial Day Monday afternoon, when I get back home, this is the first thing I see when I make my way up to my little third floor haven.
The motherfuckers. (Okay, I can already see this profanity thing is gonna be a struggle – but I’m trying I swear.)
These little muslim coward pieces of shit came and delivered islamic (NO I won’t capitalize either of ’em!!) newspapers all over my apartment complex immediately prior to our Memorial Day holiday. The little effing shits.
(Almost) needless to say, I had to hunt my blood pressure meds down to take an extra dose. Not a joke, friends. It got me so hot that I literally felt like I was going to have a heart attack. The nerve of the spineless little bastards, I say that because I refuse to give them balls. They hide. They sneak. And they aim to surprise. Always.
No one around here was expecting anything of the sort. What a fucking slap in the face. A jolt, if you will, of reality. Trust me when I say I don’t need the jolt, I actually live 9/11 every day of my life. But once again, here we go…. WTF….
I moved to the city I’m in for various reasons, though there are several chart-toppers. Comfortability factor, price – smaller town, less traffic. We don’t have the big-city crap that normally goes on here. That being said, my safety guard never decreases as far as locked doors, windows, etc. (yes I realize I live on the third floor). But again, the little asswipes pick their targets – and always, aim for surprise…
Happy Memorial Day, even if it’s post…
Please remember all who have paid the ultimate price for not only our freedom, but the freedom of many countries around the world. Prayers constantly rise for our fallen soldiers and their families – God bless them and I pray he holds them tight in his arms. To our military – thank you for giving your all… so that I may be free.
You really can’t get any two more different ramblings than those which I have right now. This is me, though. A smorgasbord of thoughts running rampant through an already overactive mind that’s currently working overtime. So I have to unload sometimes, and this blog is my dumpsite. This is my life.
The Life of Bon.
Oh, they’ve finally labeled it. It’s taken this long. (Initial thoughts on Ft. Hood.). The Ft. Hood attacks are now officially being termed as “an act of radical Islamic Muslim Terrorism”. Geez, why couldn’t they have labeled it as such when the details of the attack first surfaced? In my humble opinion we have a buffoon as the Homeland Security Secretary, Ms. Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano. America is slippery at best with her holding this position. I trust her about as far as I can throw her since she’s already been proven a liar. Oh, she needn’t feel alone in her position… I believe her to be just one of many buffoons within the current administration.
When the hell are the higher-ups of this country going to stop worrying about offending the people of Islam by using the term radical Islamic Muslim terrorists? Radical. Islamic. Muslim. Terrorism. Say the damn words! And often. Because it’s alive and well.
On a much different note, I was recently sent a survey via email correspondence that ended up telling you some of the qualities that your perfect mate would possess. Laughable, I know, because those little survey things are never really accurate anyway. But, it got me thinking, what are we really looking for in life from a partner? And is it actually possible to find your soulmate?
Oh yeah… I must go there. So off I go.
- True sincerity.
- He will be honest and forthright.
- He will have high goals set for the future, and consistently work hard to achieve them.
- He will possess confidence in his self without being haughty or boastful.
- He shows kindness and consideration to wait staff, clerks and the general public who services him.
- Noticing a stranger in a tight spot, he will stop to help them.
- He’ll keep his manners about him even when he thinks no one is watching.
- He knows what he wants in life and how to get it – furthermore, gets it.
- He will have a patience level beyond that of anyone I’ve ever known.
- He will have class, and strong moral values.
- He will be a non-smoker. (Only because I have to stay quit myself.)
- He will love his children unmercifully.
- He will provide a strong sense of stability, and is reliable.
- He will have impeccable hygiene.
- He’ll enjoy taking that occasional trip or vacation.
- He will be tall.
- Loves to laugh and cut up, but also knows when to be serious.
- He will do his best to protect me at any cost.
- He’ll be a hard worker in whatever profession he has.
- He will be able to calm me when I am in disarray.
- He will believe the Bible is the Truth, and love and trust our Lord.
- He’ll respect my southern belle beliefs.
- He will never show even the slightest hint of violent behavior.
- He will love animals.
- He will have me on his mind 24/7, and I’ll know this only because he tells me so.
And I will never, even once, doubt his love for me.
Sound like a lot to be looking for? I say, nah. These are the essential traits I’m in search of. As well, I would expect everyone has that mental list of necessary traits they’re seeking in a lifetime partner. Realizing that no one is ever going to find that exact match, neither do I believe we have to settle. The truth is, we are all sinners saved by Grace – so there’s not a perfect one of us out there. But there are certain key elements we must insist on in order to maintain a long and successful relationship. These just happen to be mine…