9/11, Day of Reflection

Tyler Murphy

Nine Eleven is back, as it always will be, but it means something to us today it never did until six years ago. It continues to be a day of condolences and mourning but perhaps more importantly it demands reflection.

Six years on and the ground has been kept warmed with fresh blood. The day that marked the occasion saw the lives of nearly 3,000 lives vanquished. They died knowing only a pre-nine eleven American and if they could be revived just once, on this day, every year, I wonder what differences they might see.

That ground is hotter now then it was then, with our war of ideology brought to nearly ever corner of the earth. The cure-all prophecies of installing democracy the American way has left a chaotic and fractured path of destruction across several countries. That strategy has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, thousands of military personnel and a trillion dollars. Our results today are a consequence of such actions and are rarely measure in the positive. Often they are interpreted as one of our fastest growing detriments.

We have made the world a more dangerous place in our vain attempts to make it better. How can we expect other nations, such as Iran and Syria to embrace democracy and western culture when they are surrounded by failing examples of those beliefs, Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan… all are far worse off than they were six years ago.

America itself barely abides by the laws it once held sacred. Imagine a dictator criticized for violating human rights only to have America explain to him, that when we do it, it’s different, or to an extremist group for that matter. We can no longer claim we lead by example like we once did.

America gasped in fear over the events of September eleventh and in that desperate breathe inhaled a darker component of the republic. Each fevered breathe eagerly seized since has been taken with belligerent haste, like a distressed victim in the midst of an anxiety attack. Their mind focused only on the immediate problem and not on the long term solution. But instead of air, we are yearning for immediate security and stability because we are afraid.

Through whatever means necessary we have endure to achieve the most immediate relief, thinking we could crush our enemies if through only the seer power of escalation. A republic removing its constitutional gloves to get a dirty job done. Suspend their constitutional rights, expand the power of the executive, hold them, kill them, even torture them if we must, as long as it’s ironically under the righteous flag of freedom it’s allowed. We wanted to create a better world and all our means justified their eventual end, but the end never came… can it even been seen anymore?

The shaken chains of any slave should ring out in the ears of all free people. Their allowed existence threatens the vacant wrists of anyone unfortunate enough to disagree with the status quo. That even includes those violated by our own country. Once an advocate for freedom we now find ourselves explaining our way around such nuisances to a global community, finding exceptions to principles once held without.

I no longer just mourn the death of those killed on this day but rather in reflection I mourn the death of nearly everything we once stood for. Pride in our legacy, shame in our current state and contempt over the direction of our future.