Today, as we think about the evil that happened on our shores, 20 years ago, I am reminded of events we must always remember. I think on these things because I am all too aware that some have already forgotten, or perhaps just got complacent in thinking about it.
The attack on the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in D.C. and the thwarted attack on the White House/Capitol made all us aware that America could be attacked, better security was needed and that as a nation we could unite. We could make sure that as individuals, we would never allow ourselves, or others, to forget the heinous events of September 11, 2001.
The evil mass extermination of 6 million individuals of Jewish faith, by Hitler and his Nazi supremacists from 1939-1945 made many Europeans aware that neighbor could turn against neighbor, people could be subtly indoctrinated through fear, ignorance, self-interest and the political agitation of division and hate. Europeans, particularly Germans, stayed vigilant so that institutionalized racism and seeds of hate were never allowed to be planted.
But then we forgot.
We failed to remember the vow we made to remember – to never forget. And across Europe the seeds of hate, neo-Nazism, division and disunity began to sprout again. All one has to do is a quick search with Auntie Google to see this has been a growing reality in the last few years.
Today as we vow again to never forget the horrifying events of 9/11, 2001, I pray we take a moment to look around us, at our newsfeed, at the disunity and division already amongst us whilst we were distracted. Neighbor against neighbor with opposing political signs in our front gardens, churches split over those political division, schools fighting over masks and vaccines, teachers verbally abused by parents, airline staff attacked by passengers who value their own “rights” over the rights of that employee to be respected as a mere neighbor obeying their authorities and doing their job. I could go on, but it’s depressing.
Never forget – that we can unite. We can choose respect and love of our fellow human beings over hatred, anger and division. We can agree to disagree and still be friends. We can care about justice for all, display mercy and act a bit more humbly and a bit less self-righteous about our rights. We can love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves and not just care about ourselves and our “rights”.
We must never forget what has happened in the past. But we must take actual, daily steps to make sure we do more than just vow to remember. We must vow to not allow ourselves to be complacent and for history to repeat itself. This takes physical action not just verbal platitudes on annual commemoration days.
Never forget – we can choose unity. We can choose love. We can choose respect for others. WE CAN CHOOSE. Never forget that.
#GoldenRule #Chooselove #CareAboutOthers #ItsNotAllAboutYou #DietoSelf #LoveOthers #NeverForget #RememberthePast #NeverRepeatIt #TallahasseeBedandBreakfast