Archive for September, 2012

the hero season

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Football started here in Aggieland last weekend, NASCAR was beginning its “chase” and the NFL was in full operation on Sunday. A cold front came in with all these beginnings, signaling to the butterflies and the birds that the season was changing. Summer was winding down, the crisp days of autumn were on the way.

But its also early September, and for generations, I believe Americans will regard the coming of Fall with the events of September 11. I’ve tried to write about that day a few times over the course of this blog, I’m not sure I could ever do the memories justice. While I think of the losses, the senseless losses that happened that day and in the following years of war, I also think about those ordinary people who risked themselves to make a difference for others.

I wrote this a few years back;

Its a hard day today. Nine years ago we were all in shock from the events of the day, today, somehow its harder to know all the details, to hear the radio calls, the last phone calls from flight 93, the sadness that’s still in the voice of firefighters. Its just a hard day.

As a parent of a responder, you somehow never think your daughter, or someones spouse or father or mother is at risk when they get in the truck and run towards the disaster. I feel that risk more now.

And what can one say about the heroes that day. They were among the trained, and among the ordinary people around us every day. American heroes, fighting back with hot water and soda cans, pulling at steel with bare hands, prying at concrete debris with whatever was at hand.

They showed us the best of America that day. People willing to fight for the lives and freedom of people they didn’t know on the ground, willing to risk their lives to try and get one or two more out of the fires in New York and Washington. They are the best of us, what we all hope we’re up to when the situation calls for us. We fight, we risk, we die for the principles of freedom, fair play, doing the right thing.

Don’t ever fight for retribution, there is no payback for inhumanity, there is no justice in denying anyone their rights under the law. Fight for the rights of all of us, no matter what language we speak, no matter what we call our God, the strong protects the weak, its the American way.

Never forget. Always be willing.

Take Care of each other, even if you don’t know who you’re caring for.

There have been other disasters since then, here in College Station, in Blacksburg, in Pittsburgh, in Aurora, in Columbine, and in numerous towns and hamlets around the world. I don’t know how a person could be prepared for any of them. Yet its probably in all of us this season…knowing where the exits are…seeing things in our contexts that don’t look quite right…being a little more attentive…and I believe, more ready to act.

I was reading about what happened in Aurora, reading accounts of people jumping into the line of fire to protect someone else. I was remembering accounts of the passengers on UAL flight 93 and thinking they had it right, fight back.

I don’t know who could think that clearly in those situations. I’m glad some of them were on that flight.

I’m having a hard time saying that we need to become more involved in the well-being of people around us…of acting for interests other than our own. But what’s in it for us when we do that? How can we as individuals stand up for people who need help against more powerful forces? That’s the hard question.

The principle that in America we stand with the weak seems right to me…and honestly…as weak as I am, I know there are weaker people that could benefit from one more voice standing with them, one more person to throw a soda can at an oppresser.

I like the way the constitution begins…”We the people”…it implicitly says, we stand together, as Americans, against oppression in whatever form…we stand together. It could be that we don’t read that document often enough, that our own agenda’s blur the importance of standing together. By standing together I mean all of us, not just one party against the other. I don’t know that Todd Beamer asked anyone their political affiliation on Flight 93. He and others knew, act or let oppression go unchecked.

Voting season is coming up soon too. I won’t say vote this way or that. But please vote. Those of you who know me understand which lever I’ll be turning come November. I’ll be happy when the season of acrimony is over, and really really hope those we stand behind will put their own agendas aside, and work on standing TOGETHER against oppression.

This is the season of heroes.
Lets not forget.

Be good to each other, stand behind each other, stand against oppression whenever you see it.

Take care of each other.