The western world has had to work through many stages of grief following the loss of life and liberty of the victims of the tragedy enacted in New York on September 11th, 2001 by those who pursued a terrorist agenda. They include initial shock, feelings of hostility, an emotional release followed by depression, isolation, panic, guilt and an inability to return to normal life.
This state was followed by emotional healing, and readjustment to new realities. There are many who will remember where they were when affected by the news that the twin tower buildings of the World Trade centre in New York City in the U.S.A. had been completely demolished.
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children*
Watching the event on television as it happened sent many people spiraling into a distressed, catatonic state.
While they might have recovered to some extent they have never been able to forget. The horrific images of that day are fused within their memories as it is with all good people.
The twin towers housed a ‘League of Nations’, which is why they ended up as targets for international terrorism. The perpetrators wanted to strike an individual blow at the centre of the western psyche, its freedoms and its emotional well-being.
They did however underestimate western societies ability to ‘bounce back’, shored up by a faith that their progress toward a world in which all cultures can share its many bountiful blessings without fear and hatred or each other is the right one.
At the central core of these beliefs is a respect for tradition and a reverence for historical values; that right and good triumphs over wrong and evil. This concept well documented throughout the ages features continually in contemporary culture.
Transforming the grief of the past from being a negative force into a positive one for good is an all important way forward in the future.
On the White House website President Obama talks about the many innovators, who have been involved in changing the way America now approaches its many challenges in the local, national and world wide arena as well as at war.
One of the basic tenets of western democracy is that its citizens should at all times be able to challenge its rulers and their authority. Instead of being in awe of leaders we need to actively hold them accountable if we believe their behaviour is not up to an acceptable norm.
They are role models for us all.
Elsewhere in the world the days of dictatorial troubled rule are seemingly over. Society collectively, as well as people individually must not be controlled by fear.
While a little fear protects our ability to survive and surmount our own challenges and inadequacies, the truth should always be empowering, not constricting.
Censorship works against western ideas, ideologies, faith system and beliefs. Keeping our leader in the political or social sphere honest is what is required of all good men and women, who despite being peaceful people will go to war if and when required. We all need to stand up and be counted.
The power of one is still a valuable and vital aspect of our system of justice.
Watching events happen simultaneously around the world due to technology (despite being censored in many countries) it seems is affecting those who have so long lived under the rule of dictators. Their people are discovering democracy and its important message.
They are questioning why they are living in such straightened circumstances dodging bullets and bombs, while a great majority of other people are able to enjoy the fruits of their honest labours.
Citizens of long suppressed political ideologies and military regimes are realizing that despite its flaws and often frustrating inconsistencies, the style of democracy we enjoy in the western world is without doubt far better than any other system of government yet devised in human history.
While many may still believe money means power because our western economic system values its citizens efforts, it is the access to knowledge of the past that has proved to be by far the more successful.
Those powers seeking to suppress the flow of free information on the Internet definitely understand this fact.
Without fear or favour society has a unique opportunity in the 21st century to overthrow those who seek to limit expansion of knowledge so they can control events and instill fear.
However it does require action as well as faith in the courage of one’s convictions to take that action, which for a lot of people we know is difficult.
Following the dreadful atrocity in 2001 many people flocked back to churches searching for answers. However within a short time their spiritual lives were back at pre-attack levels, showing their exploration of faith did not last long.
Faith and a belief that there is something more than life in the here and now isn’t something that can be put on quickly like an invisible cloak of protection. It has to be built slowly and have a true belief of purpose or it will not work no matter how hard anyone tries.
Few events have brought forth such an overwhelming idea of place and time as the events of 9/11. In the face of such horror for New Yorker’s traits such as perseverance, hope and resolve have become an integral characteristic of its people.
Among the many books produced are heart-breaking reminiscences by those who survived the attack and then endured a decade of denial, doubt and rebuilding. They still all ask the imponderable question: Why?
The official New York City observance of the anniversary of September 11 takes place at the World Trade Center each September 11 to commemorate the times when each plane hit and each tower fell.
New York is today a vibrant colourful metropolis, whose population draws its vitality, vision and strength from those who have gone before.
All over the city are great landmarks of its history, revealing the ingenuity, innovation and creativity of its founding fathers and those who have come after. They make an indelible impression on those who visit.
This includes the French gift of the Statue of Liberty an eternal symbol of hope that we can, by the sharing of knowledge enlighten and illuminate the future, finally bringing about peace in our world.
Remember 9/11, lest we forget what liberty, freedom and democracy really means.
‘…Our enemies have made the mistake that America’s enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat” *
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2011, 2012
* Quote by President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001