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Reflections on 9/11

Today will be a date we all remember for our life times I think. I know it is for me. We all remember where we were when we heard that airplanes where crashing in New York City, Washington and in Pennesylvina. I was standing in the kitchen having just moved the day before. I was listening to the radio. I had been stressing about my father who had just been diagnosed with lung cancer a few days before, and unpacking boxes.

I ran and turned on my tv and was glued to the news. I was paying little attention to my 3 year old daughter who was playing close by. I was praying for everyone there and fretting about a cousin well who worked across the street. As the day progressed and things seemed just more horrid I was held captive to the tv as many of us were. It was then that Rachel found a toonie( a $2 Canadian coin). She swallowed the thing! She began to choke. The coin became lodged in her windpipe, and was blocking her airway and there was no way it was coming out.

We rushed her to the hospital sirens blaring as she was turning blue. I then spent the next 7 hours with her in the cardiac care unit of the emergency department with a nurse at her bedside. We were waiting on a pediatric surgeon and an operating room. At 4:30 am we were finally prepping her for surgery. Twenty five minutes later the surgeon came out and she was on the way back to being the out of the box angel that she is.She came out a few minutes later with a bag of stickers and a popsicle. I was lucky I got my daughter back, so many families lost a loved one on 9/11 in a horrific way, they didn’t have the happy ending I got.

In the days after 9/11 there was a call for tolerance and peace and mutual respect. For awhile that seemed like a possibility especially here in the lands of freedom. Now, that is not the case. It seems that more and more the media outlets are not only reporting hate crimes but almost encouraging it by giving those that hate a national podium. Do you think that maybe without the podium and the limelight stirring people into a frenzy we might actually get back to the kind of place North America was meant to be. One that many came to to escape persecution and injustice, so they could practice their faiths.

I also do remember times in the American history books when if a faith was misunderstood,or not part and parcel of the mainstream it was unwanted and driven out and people ended up dying because of it. But that is not what the original settlers wanted. They wanted peace and tolerance. Many years ago many of our grandfathers, and great-grandfathers fought hard when one religion was being destroyed. Why did they fight? So all might be free to worship and live in peace. What happened to those ideals? My own grandfather who was a POW in World War 2 would be rolling in his grave. He and many like him gave everything they had and more so we could be that place where one could worship how they say fit.

My suggestion is this before you cast that first stone, or burn a Quran, or plan a protest how about sitting down and breaking bread and really getting to know your neighbour. You might just find out they aren’t the devil in disguise. What are you reflecting on this day?

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