It’s been a year since the defining moment of our generation, and what have we learned?

Sure, we have learned grief and sorrow. Grief at the thousands of lives lost, not only American, but from a multitude of other nations. We have learned sorrow from our friends who have lost loved ones.

We have also learned appreciation ? appreciation for the men and women of police and fire departments that we have so often taken for granted.

We have learned to honor these heroes, not only in their deaths, but also in their everyday sacrifices.

We have learned to love the country because we have realized we are the only ones who will.

But of all things we have learned, one fact stands out ? We are not alone.

Yes, and this scares us spitless.

This fact, so obvious in its lesson rarely enters the minds of average Americans ? we are not alone. Amazingly, there are more countries in the world than America. When America throws itself into the internal affairs of other countries in an effort to be “Big Brother,” those countries are offended.

This is the reason the world hates America. Its not because we’re rich or our air is clean. It is because we know it, we flaunt it, we brag about it and we want to force it on others.

September 11, 2001 was a wake-up call. And that call was, “Hello America, this is the rest of the world. We can handle our affairs without your intervention.”

Did we heed this call? Of course not. We acted like the bullies we are.

To our allies ? we twisted their arms so they would join us in our search for Waldo. And when we couldn’t find him, we got mad and tore up the book.

To Afghanistan ? we bombed them to hell and then some.

To fellow citizens ? we persecuted Muslims, Sikhs and anyone else who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent. Then to prove how patriotic we are, we boycotted Middle Eastern stores and restaurants.

Congratulations.

What did we learn there?

We learned to hate. We learned to murder. We learned evil.

All we lack now is a coliseum, a cross and a few lions.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying September 11 was a good thing. Far from it. What I am saying is look at yourself.

What did you learn from September 11?

Did you learn bloodlust or did you learn tolerance?

Or have you learned anything at all from September 11?

September 11 was a horrible event. But as the adage states, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Don’t repeat history. Learn the lessons that will allow you to live in a global community of equals. Vote for representatives who will support peace, tone down our aggressive foreign policy and present to the world a new and friendly America.

He can be reached at mhe@campustimes.org.



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