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Front Page » September 14, 2010 » Opinion » Rantings and Ravings
Published 1,444 days ago

Rantings and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate reporter

As the documentaries about the Sept. 11 attack began to play across the channels of TV, I was transported back to that day as many of us were.

It was sunny and I had finished working out and was headed to work about 7 a.m. I turned the key on my old green Subaru and headed down to the Family Support Center where I was the director. Fisher and Todd were reporting on KISN.

They broke in about a plane that had just hit the World Trade Center building in New York and were kind of making fun of a wayward pilot. I pictured a small plane that had gone off track, but it piqued my interest. Before I even went the eight blocks to get to work, the second plane hit and their mood turned serious fast.

I got to work and turned on the TV to watch the events continue to unfold and the planes hitting the building being played over and over again. As my staff dribbled in we were huddled around the TV set like moths drawn to a porch light, unable to leave no matter what.

It was still sinking in when the first reports came in from the Pentagon came in. I remembering the shudder of fear running down me as the first confirmations of the Pentagon's crash rolled across the airwaves.

As an ex-military person, the pentagon is a representation of everything that makes our military strong and powerful. The symbolism of that crash scared me to the core.

We watched in horror as the people jumped off the buildings and then they collapsed on live TV. I could hardly breathe and one of my staff got hysterical and wanted to get her child from school and lock herself in her home.

The day went on like a blur and eventually I had to remind the staff we had a job to do as parents still needed to get to appointments and we had kids to watch. We got through it as numbly as the rest of the country. Days later I was glad to see our routine events begin to creep back into our daily lives.

Now nine years later, it doesn't take much to bring each of us back to that moment when we first learned of what was happening.

It saddens me that we have some that want to memorialize that day with activities that define intolerance. The Florida pastor that wanted to burn Korans to make a point hopefully does not reflect us as a country. He has defined himself as radical as those that attacked us.

My heritage is German. The country that my ancestors came from had leaders that committed major atrocities against humanity and was committed to racial purity by way of racial cleansing. Do you look at all of those of German heritage as having these same beliefs?

How do we assume all Muslims are terrorists because there are those that are? The Muslim community is not defined by the extreme edges of their faith any more than are the Christians, the LDS, the Catholics or any one else.

If we study history, both current and past, we find many who kill in the name of their religion. Every religion has this to deal with. It is hard to see those acts as something the rest of us can understand.

Do not give into to hatred and intolerance. We need to protect ourselves from our true enemies, but we also need to embrace those who are just trying to believe in the same type of morals and values, but just with a different spin on it. They can be the allies we don't even know we have.

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September 14, 2010
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