My memory of 9/11. Of course everyone remembers where there were. I was in bed with my wife at the time. We had the news on, I was needing to get ready to go to work in a few. I didn't witness the first plane hit, but did see the 2nd plane hit. I knew at that moment it wasn't an accident. I immediately knew it was terrorists, Mid East terrorists, looking back I now know that the reason for my quick assumption was from the mass media indoctrination I was under at the time. I didn't really have a relationship with God at the time, so I was angry, I wanted to kill whomever was responsible. I wanted them all dead. You have to remember, I'm a military brat, I come from a huge military family, 13 aunts and uncles have served, cousins, my brother was a ARMY Ranger, he had served in Desert Storm, I went to enlist after high school but I failed the color test so that dashed my hopes of being a helicopter pilot in the ARMY, so to me that was my first go to, send the troops, blow them all to hell.
As time passed and the government started angling for an Iraq attack, I knew something was up. I'm a very intelligent person, and things didn't add up. It all seemed convenient, and you could just tell that people were lying, you could see it in their faces, something about it was wrong. We invaded Iraq, and all my fears came true. Corporations started taking over, citizens were being killed indiscriminately, women were being sexually assaulted frequently (not just foreign women, our own female troops), prisoners were being tortured, and like it or not, the higher ups knew exactly what was going on, trust me, in the military, the higher ups are not oblivious, in most cases they are the ones giving the orders for that behavior.
So, things just started getting worse. I wasn't afraid of terrorists, I was afraid of my government. I was afraid that with their hold on the media, they could turn me into a terrorist and people would believe it (you see that now in how anytime a person of color is killed, the narrative always is that they were no angel and somehow deserved it). I just knew this was bad, this is bad, it's going to end up bad. During that time I had my own life issues going on, so those things became secondary. I finally was in a true relationship with Christ, and I began with fundamentalist beliefs. I still had the feeling that we aren't being told the truth, but at those times I hated Muslims, gay people, Catholics, Mormons, etc. I was your ordinary right-wing, conservative, American Christian™.
But slowly Jesus was getting into my heart. I realized this at the death of Osama bin Laden, and seeing Christians celebrating. I thought that is not what Christians should be doing. I said as much on Facebook and those in that sect of Christianity chastised me for it, even a member of my own family, I got the typical OT scriptures thrown at me as justification, the typical blog posts, all that nonsense. Being young in the faith, I took it that they were right and I was wrong. I was still uneasy, but I went with it. The thing is that I took Jesus' words serious, if you look at a man with hate in your heart you may as well have killed them, and with that I thought of all the times I was angry at someone, and I came to the conclusion that in Jesus' view I would have been guilty of killing far more than they claimed Osama did on 9/11. How could I look at him as such a depraved murderer unworthy of a second chance, when I was as guilty or more? Unfortunately at that moment I realized that most Christians, or the ones I was surrounded by, don't think the way I do, and it saddened me.
God started to teach me about His Love, and I embraced it. It felt good, it gave me joy, it made my heart flutter. I never knew love like that, love that will take abuse and forgive, and not ask for a repayment, or put someone in debt, a love that loves the darkest heart and even if that dark heart does the worst things, still is there arms open, wanting to embrace them. It brings tears to my eyes that Jesus loved me that much. I am well aware of my mistakes, of the things I do wrong, of the pain I have caused people, and He loved me, He loves me. That is amazing. So I began to love people like that. I began to clean up my Facebook page and delete some of the things I shared (I still have cleaning to do, so if you ever go way back on my page you'll probably still find a bunch of that trash). I began to love people, Muslims, gay people, Catholics, Mormons, ALL people. If it had a pulse, I loved, regardless of their beliefs. It didn't matter, I knew that this world can twist people up, that without the influence of this world people wouldn't be the way they are. All of us are damaged, each and every one.
I began to see that death, violence, revenge, even in times of war, even for the deaths of 3000 people wasn't God's way. I looked at numbers and realized that this revenge cost the lives of 333 INNOCENT people, and counting, for each one lost on 9/11. Innocent people, why did their lives have to be lost for revenge? For hate? Iraq didn't even have an involvement in 9/11. They weren't responsible at all. We went in and occupied a country and killed innocent men, women, and children for no good reason, and we made that area worse for everyone living there. All for hate. And also, all for GREED. The military industrial complex, American corporations, all came out of it with millions, billions, trillions, all from the death of innocent people due to the hate and vengeance they created in the hearts of Americans to a people that were simply hated for their religion and the color of their skin.
I couldn't deal with that, I vowed to make a difference, some kind of difference, so that the 3000 people who died, so their deaths wouldn't be in vain. Not one of those people can rest easy knowing that each one of them were used to put 333, and counting, people in a grave. They cannot rest easy due to our need for revenge, our hate, our love of violence. So I share things about those events, about what our military has done, what our government has done, about the abuses, the deaths of innocent millions in the Middle East, about our military industrial complex becoming wealthy selling weaponry to be used by either side. How we bomb the people that are fighting Al Qaeda and ISIS over there, how we supply ISIS with weaponry. We, all of us in this country are being played by our government, our lobbying group, corporate controlled government, and I cannot just sit there and do nothing.
I also share things showing that the person who believes differently is not your enemy, they are your brother. I stand up for the marginalized, not because I am somehow superior, and I think my voice is more important than theirs, but to show unity, to show solidarity with them. To show them that not all Christians are American Christians™. Not all of us are hate filled, violent loving, enemy destroying, uncaring, bigoted people. That some of us took Jesus' words to heart, and we love them, and will love them, no matter who they are, unconditionally, without them having to change into some image we think makes them worthy. And I love those American Christians™ just as much, because I was one, their blood runs through my veins, we are one, all of us are one.
So, I have this little measly page, and I have a handful of people that care, but maybe that's all I need, that's all we need, to bring in change through the love of Jesus. So that's what I remember about 9/11. To me, it's important to #NeverForget, because loving a million innocent people and counting would have been much better than killing them, and would have done more to change the world than what occurred after that day.