We remember touch points in history. Days that change the world as we knew it fundamentally. The Blitz. Pearl Harbor. Apollo 11. The fall of the Berlin Wall. And quite recently, 9/11. Osama bin Laden changed the world.
The darkness, the fear, the uncertainty was palpable. There was a huge line that divided the past, and the present. Almost as if, yesterday marked our innocence, and today marked something else, and deep down we know this couldn’t be good.
Thanks to Osama, we’re all treated as criminals. Airport security assumes everyone is carrying a bomb. Shoes need to be taken off. Metal detectors everywhere. In many cities around the world, surveillance is as natural now as air. Big Brother is watching. And those are the least things that happened.
In the names of the victims of 9/11, George W. Bush led America on a Crusade, a War on Terror. America let her fears lead her to wage war in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein was defeated, and as difficult as it is to say, the world is better off that way, there was a heavy price to be paid. So many lives upended because of War.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban is gone. Sort of. In its place is an Afghanistan trying to grow out of the ashes. It is a far, far perfect state, and it would be decades still, and many more generations before the people of Afghanistan can grow out of the shadow of the Taliban.
When Seal Team Six breached Osama bin Laden’s compound, and shot him, there was a sort of euphoria that could only be best described with raised fists, “We got that S.O.B.! YEAH!”
There is nothing jubilant when a man is killed, though when those bullets hit Osama bin Laden, it was almost as if a heavy weight was lifted. There too is something to be said, when a man dies, a whole world give out a sigh of relief. And the world changed, considerably.
Now, we’re here. We see something happening in the Arab states. There is a transformation happening there. We can only see whether that change is for the good of all, years down the road.
Now, we’re here. The world understand terrorism a lot better now. We know terror happens no matter the skin color, and we have the example of the People of Norway, who quite recently were victims themselves.
We can not fight fear with hate.
We can fight fear with courage.
We now ought to remember 9/11, not just a stab at America, but at a crime against the world. It wasn’t just Americans who died that day, but hundred of people from different nationalities, from different economic strata. In their name, and the name of the brave heroes who braved the falling towers, we ought to inaugurate a whole new decade of civilization not cringing in fear, but with hearts filled with courage and hope that tomorrow will be a much better, and brighter one.