I'm really not patriotic at all. I don't have a red, white and blue tie or even know the words to "Stars and Stripes Forever". Rather I support the seperation of church and state and think that nationalism is a slippery slope. Yet all of these feelings aside I am reminded today of one late summer morning in September 2001.
I couldn't escape that day, nor this one. Because I remember what it was like to be standing in the hallway before class, hearing something about a bomb in New York. I remember a call from my dad that afternoon urging me to go get gas right away before the prices went up, uncertainty thick in his voice. I remember wanting so bad to be with my girlfriend who was two hours away at a different school. I wondered about the possibility of a draft or another attack. I remember playing a goofy computer game that night where earthworms threw bombs at other earthworms and wondering if I was mentally stable. I remember how close to home it hit when a Matchbox Twenty concert I had tickets to on Sept. 12 was cancelled. I worked at a local radio station that afternoon and as up to the minute news came across the AP wire I wondered if the cheesy Christian music I played meant anything. Guys on my floor hung sarcastic signs about killing Taliban members and I remember feeling sick about the hatred that filled those halls.
And from then until now I have been reminded everytime I pass through security at the airport. The Arab man in front of me is searched again and again, as he carries only a gift for his daughter and the weight of 1,000 eyes watching his every move. I was reminded as I chatted online with a friend stationed in Iraq, a long way away from the home he grew up in down the street. I am reminded everytime our president speaks about justice and staying the course and I wonder who we are fighting. I am reminded everytime the alert level goes from orange to red and back to orange.
I know that we are suppose to never forget. But to be honest, I am tired of remembering.