Random thoughts on Patriotism

It’s one of those days where you stop and think about things. Part of me gets frustrated that we stop and focus on a day of victimization, but I realize that it’s very soon still, and a lot of the country is still seeking closure.

On 9/11 I was headed to a writing class when I walked in and found it dismissed. I thought the professor was kidding. When I returned to my apartment in frustration, then saw on TV how bad things were..well…

I mean what do you do with something like that? When you live a life that shelters you from violence and that kind of anger, what do you do? I hung out numbly all day, watching footage with my roommate, calling around to see if my uncle who worked in the city was okay, and generally being quietly terrified about where this would lead the country.

My other big memory is of the time directly after the attacks, when the country came together. People were nicer to each other. Cars you never saw before gave you the right of way in traffic; some even carried flags on their windows. For once it seemed that everyone was coming together, realizing that we were, in fact, one nation and were going to continue on that way.

Looking back now, I find it a little ironic that we’re so polarized at the moment. What happened since then? A lot of things, obviously, but surely there’s a way besides tragedy to unite one people, to work for the best of all. Don’t ask me what that is, but surely there’s a way.

I’m not overtly patriotic, but I am proud to be an American. I do take pride in my pioneer heritage, in my relatives that fought in the revolution and helped develop the country. I’m also proud that my lineage includes the Americans that were here first (though were treated tragically because of it). I just wish that sometimes we could get away from the political parties and all the in-fighting and work to do what’s best for everyone, not fight to be right or get the last word.

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