|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
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Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Posted 7:28 AM by WiN
September 11th, One Year Later
As a nation today, we have reached a point of reflection, of a time to look back on so horrible and stunning that to accept it, to believe it had happened, taxed our capacity to comprehend the utter depths of depravity that man is capable of descending to. Perhaps it was easier for we in Oklahoma to comprehend, for we had seen first-hand what one man, gripped by fanatical hatred and vengefulness, had accomplished in the service of evil. But still it was hard. Harder, perhaps, because as we stared at the images flickering before us we realized that there were people who were living through it, were in the midst of that flaming hell, and that most would not escape a horrifying end. Here, we saw from the beginning the end result - a building ripped open, floors and inner walls exposed, and we knew that for them it was over. Try as we might, as valiently as they dug and searched and hoped, there were no survivors, and that was that.
But we are fortunate, in a sense. We quickly had a focus for our righteous anger, and though the process of justice seemed agonizingly slow and the legal gyrations painfully ludicrous, it is over. We have seen justice done, and the book has been closed. Not so for those whose lives were crushed and whose families were ripped asunder one year ago. Like that building in downtown Oklahoma City, a huge part of them has been blasted away leaving a gaping wound too massive to repair.
So what do we do, as a people? I submit that God has a plan, and it is a plan for good and not for evil. I have seen in my state the good that came out of the evil actions of one man, and I have faith that the same can happen on a greater scale for us as a nation. I humbly submit that we should look to that example, both in the natural and the spiritual, and see what the Lord would have us do.
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.