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September 11, 2001 was a big day in my life.  From 3,000 miles away, I watched the planes crash and the towers collapse.  I went into shock, I think -- I can remember that, despite it being a picture-perfect, sunny day in Seattle, I spent the day shivering because I was so cold.  I went to work sometime in the late morning, because I simply could not think of anything else to do.  Nothing was done there that day -- my co-workers and I were all in a complete fog.  One of my clear memories of the day, and I don't have many, is sitting with my boss.  We simply looked blankly at each other for a while, and then she said "You realize that nothing is ever going to be the same again, don't you?"  "Yeah," I replied.  There didn't seem to be much else to say about it.

A few days later, I 'celebrated' my birthday by huddling in my bed with chills.  No other symptoms, so I think it was still shock.

A few days after that, in the middle of a staff retreat, I suddenly doubled over with horrific stomach cramps and had to go home.  More chills.  More shock.  I stayed in bed for four days, then finally stumbled to see a doctor, and was diagnosed with extreme stress.

The day was the beginning of a downhill slide for me that I didn't fully recover from for several years.  Long-dormant symptoms of (undiagnosed) PTSD from childhood traumas returned and sent me into a tailspin that lasted for months.  I got myself into therapy, thank the gods, was properly diagnosed, and started treatment that lasted for over five years.

I'm more or less okay now, although I will always have to deal with depression and anxiety to some degree.  The PTSD isn't cured, but it's under control.  Knock wood.

None of this is the point of this diary, actually, but I did want to explain a bit why today is a big anniversary for me, personally, as well as for all of us.  It goes back to what my boss said, to some degree.  "Nothing is ever going to be the same again."  That's certainly held true for me.

So here's the point.

Not once, not for one second, that day or since, have I even thought about blaming Islam for the actions of a small handful of crazed extremists.  Not for one second.  There were threats made on the largest mosque in Seattle in the days following 9/11, and a lot of the non-Muslim citizens of that good city turned out to watch over the mosque to make sure it came to no harm.  In all of my haze of shock and illness, I was so proud of those people.  That was one of the very few bright memories I have from that ghastly time.

So it's been with disgust and dismay that I've followed the stories of the proposed book-burning by "Pastor" Terry Jones, and the growing hysteria around the Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan.  I've spent more than a little time lately wondering how in the hell we've come to this -- to being a country that, in terms of respecting civil liberties and the Bill of Rights, more resembles Saudi Arabia (home of 15 of the 9/11 hijackers, let us not forget) than it resembles the America I thought I lived in.

So, a couple of days ago, a Facebook friend posted a suggestion that I've taken to heart.  She said she wanted to buy a copy of the Koran on 9/11, as a reminder to herself and as a statement to the world, that some Americans still respect freedom of speech and freedom of religion, that we haven't allowed the hysteria and fearmongering to change who we fundamentally are -- or at least, who we were fundamentally meant to be as a nation.  "Why not," she wrote, "make the Koran the number one selling book on Amazon, just for the one day?"

So that's what I'm doing, as soon as I post this diary.  And I would like to invite other Kossacks to do the same.

Here's the link.  


Originally posted to Mehitabel9 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 07:23 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here in Brooklyn, our household is going to (4+ / 0-)

    go shopping at the Green Market, visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, visit a local nursery to look at some possible trees or plants for our garden, and maybe watch some tennis.

    September 11, 2010 is a beautiful Saturday.  That's all it is.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 07:27:45 AM PDT

    •  Today, all over the South, people will (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, congenitalefty

      "observe" 9/11 by returning to their one true love - college football, for it is opening day today (after a few exhibition games last week).

      Yes - the stalwart Southern patriots who vote GOP by rote force will tailgate, get drunk, cheer like fools, and pass out later in observation.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 07:37:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So grateful Obama is our president (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    after watching the MSNBC replay of 9/11 and seeing Bush fumble around about finding the "folks" who attacked us.  Ugh.  For myself--my husband is working, I'm catching up on housework,I have our sick college student home for the weekend and our junior high daughter getting over strep.  So, yeah, an unmemorable day, thank goodness.

  •  Done and done. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Mehitabel9

    Also bought the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, and the Tao Te Ching. Let's make today a day where Americans learn about different religious traditions.

    What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

    by mistersite on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 07:46:44 AM PDT

  •  That's a good idea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, MaikeH

    If I had any money, I would do that.

    It's much more productive than all the day-long grief going on. I think I'm going to have to go do something else today, because all the 9/11 diaries are getting to me. I already left one comment saying what I really think. It's probably been hide-rated by now, but I don't care. I turned on MSNBC, and they are showing a rebroadcast of the 9/11 Today Show broadcast. No thanks. I wanted to hear TODAY'S news, not a repeat of the news from the past. Who is watching and reliving that by choice?

    I am sorry for anyone who lost someone they knew and/or loved, but I think our continuing national hysteria about this particular day is bad for us.

    It serves as only a rallying cry for hate.

    Your plan at least begins to sow the seeds of a little understanding and love.

    There were specific people who flew those planes into the buildings on September 11, 2001. It wasn't the entire Muslim world. Why must we continue to demonize an entire group of people who had nothing to do with it, and continue to stoke that hatred by insisting that we remember -- with a vengeance -- every year?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 07:55:34 AM PDT

    •  What have we learned? (0+ / 0-)

      It's been 10 years.

      What did we learn?

      I don't know.  

      I'm not interested in reliving a traumatic experience again.  Got too many of those, thank you very much.  

      Not interested in rehashing what Bush did or didn't do.  Someone else is in the White House now.

      Would like to hear good news about our intel orgs meshing together like a finely tuned machine.

      Would like to hear that we are getting TFO of Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Would like to hear that invading a country because of a terrorist attack is now unthinkable.

      Show me the POLICY!

      by Fabian on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 11:36:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My approach is different (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing should have changed because of the WTC attack. No eliminatiion of civil liberties, no increase in domestic spying, no wars, no anti-Muslim bigotry.

    So I am going to enjoy as normal a Saturday as I can, given that I am still in hospital. Watch some football, play some chess online, spend a little time in the Kosmos. As it should be.

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:16:13 PM PDT

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