We will never have world peace.
9/11 is proof of this. On this 10-year anniversary of what is probably the worst tragedy to happen on American soil, the many pictures, videos and personal testimonies of the true horror of that day, and the days that followed, is living proof that the citizens of the world will never see eye-to-eye.
So many people, families, moms, dads, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, co-workers, re-opened their hearts today to the agony, the hope and the remembrance. With so many heartbreaking and moving stories told live throughout the day, it’s almost hard to revere some over others. Some of the stories that struck me, though, include a curator of 9/11 papers, a retired police sergeant and one Mid-western family’s loss.
Michael Ragsdale, an avid collector of New York-specific flyers and autographs, began collecting 9/11-specific ephemera after the horrific event occurred. With two collections totaling over 7,000 pieces, Ragsdale has to be in possession of the largest collection of 9/11 memorabilia. One of his collections, consisting of more than 4,000 pieces, is set to be featured in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. I’m not sure I would have thought to do it at the time, but to have had a hand in preserving such a significant piece of American history is something to be admired and praised.
On the fighting end of things, one of the 30 selfless women featured in the book “Women at Ground Zero,” then-Police Sgt. Carey Policastro, was on a plane home to New York the morning of 9/11. Ten years later, the retired sergeant continues to aid in the War on Terror. As an instructor for the Center for Domestic Preparedness, she trains local and state responders ranging from EMS, fire service and public health, and everything in between. Policastro is confident there will be another severe attack on the U.S. like the one we saw 10 years ago, it’s just a matter of when. With the increased level of security nationwide, the unnerving idea that another attack is imminent does not seem as terrifying, but Policastro worries that people are forgetting about 9/11. She hopes to get back to that time when everyone was helping everyone, and we were truly a united nation. The patriotism in this country has waned; Policastro does what she can on an individual level to restore it.
One of the more heartbreaking stories that got to me was that of the Haberman family. When Andrea Haberman flew from Wisconsin to New York on September 10, 2001 for her first-ever business trip, she didn’t know it was going to be her first and last. The 25-year-old was on the 92nd floor of the North Tower when the Boeing 767 was crashed into the floors directly above her. When her parents saw the news on television, they got in the car and drove nonstop from their Wisconsin home to New York City. Her father, Gordon Haberman, described the carnage as a “scene from hell.” To this day, ten years later, he still refers to his daughter’s death as a murder.
And Haberman is exactly right.
The only crime those innocent people committed was getting up and going to work that day, just like any other day. To think that such malevolent people exist in the world only to kill others and destroy the lives of those who love them makes me sick with rage. And the sad part remains that there will always be such extremists in the world. Unless we can rid the world of them, or get everyone on the same page, there will always be such devastating events. But there will always be disagreements about politics. And there will always be wars over religion. The point is not to determine one belief is better than another, it is simply to make everyone understand that they are entitled to their opinion and those whose opinions differ are also entitled to theirs. There is no right or wrong answer. Once mankind accepts and understands this, world peace will be inevitable.
So basically, we’re screwed.