We're not united as we were immediately after the tragedy that touched us all.
|Grow On, America
By Marilyn Mackenzie
Written September, 2003
Two years ago
We watched in shock
As our whole world
Tumbled and burned
Americans and our friends around the world watched as pictures of the attacks on America were shown again and again and again. We were glued to our TV’s yet disgusted at the media for showing people falling from the sky. And we were equally disgusted at ourselves for not being able to turn away.
We stood together proud and tall two years ago. We prayed, we sang patriotic songs and waved flags. We vowed to stick together. Even though the fabric of America is like a quilt with each square representing a different individual, it is sewn together with a common thread called freedom. We remembered that two years ago.
One year ago
We still stood tall
Last year at this time, we sang and waved flags again as we remembered the fallen heroes of September 11, 2001. We celebrated our unity and our heritage at remembrance services. Even though we were remembering our country’s worst tragedy, we were also celebrating in the midst of our mourning. We still vowed to protect our country and to avenge the deaths of our innocents and heroes.
Then our President and our government began a real war on terror, and with war came much discussion and debate about whether or not we should go to war. The world watched as our unity seemed to fade, as we fought amongst each other, as we wrote in anger about taking lives or sacrificing the lives of our servicemen.
Then came today
Two years after
Our hearts still mourn
This morning, the remembrance of the tragedy of September 11, 2001 was a more somber event. Last year we celebrated our unity. This year, we somberly remembered the lives lost – both in the tragedy of Sept. 11 and since then in the war that resulted.
As young people in New York read the names of relatives or friends whose lives were lost, their voices faltered and tears dropped, and one thought rang through my mind. Just one thought.
We’re not as united as we were two years ago or even one year ago. We have different ideas about how we should react to attacks on America, and some of us have voiced our differences loudly. Still, we must remember that it is freedom that allows us to disagree.
We must continue to stand tall. We must grow on.
Grow on, America. Grow on.
And now it has been five years. We certainly are not united. We are divided. And I'm reminded of that quote from Aesop (620BC to 560BC): "United we stand; divided we fall." These wise words are spoken and quoted again and again. But it appears that none listen.