The calendar is a funny thing. We have twelve months of anywhere between 30 and 31 (minus February) days, and because of that odd number configuration, each day falls on a different date each year.
So when I looked at the calendar recently and saw that September 11 fell on a Tuesday — the first time since Tuesday, September 11, 2001 — it gave me pause.
I’ve written about that horrible Tuesday already on my blog, so I won’t rehash my experience again here. But for some reason, it just feels more significant that September 11 falls on a Tuesday again this year. Put aside the disbelief that it’s already been six years since it happened. Time just flies as it is, and whether or not you’re having fun, it’s a fact of life.
The thing that makes most angry about all of this is– where have we gone since that day? Have we moved past it? And are we in a better place now than we were before?
The answers to those questions are, in order: Nowhere good, no, and no.
Six years later, we are still fighting a war, but not against the people who claimed responsibility in the first place. And that war has killed more people than those who died in the Word Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93 combined. Six years later, the images and memories of that day still haunt us, and though we don’t see the images on a daily– or even monthly– basis anymore, many of us are still trying to figure out what exactly happened that day. Conspiracy theorists are all over the internet– from those who think the United States set it all up, to those who are convinced that every building that fell in New York City was rigged to implode before 9/11 ever happened. (I doubt the twin towers were pre-rigged, but WTC 7 still seems too fishy to me– that’s just my opinion).
So are we in a better place today? Absolutely not. Our arrogance toward self-proclaimed terrorists has turned the United States into a brand new kind of terrorist. The kind that put our own interests (oil) ahead of the interests of the world in general. The kind that throws billions of dollars that don’t exist in the first place into a useless war, while our schools, our healthcare system, and our senior citizens are suffering; as are the residents of New Orleans– one of the cities in our own country– still without proper government aid after their city was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
And our arrogance is going to get us into trouble again. I don’t know what it is, but I can just feel it. Something is coming, and it’s not good. Our backs are turned again. We are vulnerable. We are unprepared.
I had a dream last night. I dreamed I was at home and someone started shooting at me. I don’t know what provoked it– or if anything did– but I started shooting back. (which is funny, since I have never held a gun in my life). This war went back and forth and back and forth between me and an unseen foe that was across the yard from me. Finally I found a way to escape, and I got out of my house. I found a delivery truck and hopped inside, cowering in the back. The driver didn’t say anything when I told him to just drive. I told him I was being pursued. He drives a few blocks and then comes to a stop. I look out the windshield and see that he is blocked by another van. The driver turns to me and asks, “Do you know who they are?” I said, “No, I don’t.” He replied, “They’re gang members, and I think they’re looking for you.” I could see them in their van, and they started to get out. I was trapped. There was nothing I could do.
That’s when I woke up.
I’m not saying my dream has anything to do with the state of the world today– but it gave me a cold shiver up my spine. The timing of the dream was a bit too surreal. It may mean nothing.
But then, who knows?