Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Might Have Been

Today many of us recall and solemnly commemorate the anniversary of the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and killed around 3000 Americans. I mourn a lot of things today. On a personal level, I mourn that my best friend Leah Adezio is no longer around to mark another birthday, and smile wryly at remembering how she hated it that her big day was forever marred by the tragedy. I mourn the way I witnessed New Yorkers with varying beliefs and ideologies putting all their differences aside to help one another, only to find that solidarity squandered by the cynical Republicans on whose watch the tragedy happened, who let it happen, and who were so hell-bent on appeasing the terrorists that they turned the US into a de facto police state. The moment I removed the American and British flags from our window in disgust at the warmongering and rights restrictions going on, that's when I knew the terrorists had won, and I mourn those lost freedoms that Bush, Giuliani and others practically handed them on a platter.

Mostly I mourn for what our country might have been under real leaders, who cared about government rather than despising it and using it as a means to the end of enriching themselves and their cronies. And I mourn how easily people continue to be swayed by the propaganda of these nasty pieces of work; I fear they may once again be actively contributing to their own downfall in 2008. My highest hope is that the forces of reason and compassion and love will win out this year after all, because I've seen it in action, seven years ago. I know we're capable of it. We just all need to remember.