It's been 10 years. 10 of the worst years in American History.
If there is something worth remembering about 9/11 it is not that we were attacked, but that the attack brought out the worst in us.
At the time of the attacks we were at the tail end of prosperity brought on by the “Peace Dividend” to continue that we would need to stop our endless meddling in other countries to secure resources like oil. We were in the perfect position to do that.
The Internet boom had burst and we needed something new. The attacks could have been a call to arms for peace. We could have invested in a green revolution that would free us from foreign oil. We could stop the blood money we pay for oil from getting funneled into the hands of the very people that attacked us. We could have funded a huge drive to get off foreign oil. That funding would have paid for itself as we wouldn't need as many troops overseas securing our access to oil.
We could have used the attacks to restructure our military, more highly trained tactical strike forces like SEAL team six, that are most effective against terrorist cells.
We could have doubled down on our ideals, done everything we could to make America the land of opportunity, made sure every American could get a quality education, insure that we had a strong middle class in this country, and done everything to make sure that those who were victims of bad luck weren't victims for long.
We could have shouted, “This is America! You can destroy our buildings and kill innocents, but you can never destroy our spirit and ideals. We will overpower tyranny through the force of freedom. We will set an example of how our way of life, granting opportunity and freedom to our citizens is a greater force than terrorism funded by our oil addiction.”
We could have done all that, but instead we gave into our most primal instincts.
Lashing out in blind rage, wanting an eye for an eye, letting our bloodlust for revenge turn our backs to our most prized ideals. Torture, imprisoning people without a trial, turning our own citizens into suspects. That is what we became.
We turned over the handling of our economy to multi-national corporations that have no stake in the health of our country, we let the fear-mongers turn us against our neighbors when they want to build a place of worship.
We have let ourselves become the same type of evil empire that we despised in the 20th century.
So to everyone who says, “Never Forget.” I say, “Never forget how we let blind fear and bloodlust for revenge make us abandon all the spirit and ideals that made America the envy of the world.”
By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE