Terrorism takes many forms
Terrorism has been powerful over time. Terrorism comes in many shapes, sizes and forms.
As I write this Sketches, we are commemorating the impact of 9/11, one of the most spectacular acts of terrorism in the history of the world. I can still see American Airlines Flight 11 flying into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I can still see United Airlines Flight 175 flying into the South Tower. I can still see the smoke and fire gushing from the Twin Towers. I can still see the South Tower and then the North Tower bending, breaking and crashing to earth. I can still feel the abject fear, the terror, that these spectacular and horrendous acts cast on a whole country.
Terrorism is always designed to cause such powerful fears that the targeted group lives in terror. When we are in terror, we tend to over react. We over react to people, to places, to situations and to differences and similarities. Sometimes, however, we are just immobilized and cannot act at all. Terrorism is that terrible and that powerful.
Terrorism comes in all shapes and sizes and forms. We grew up terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan and other forms of racial bigotry. Just like most of us have not seen a 9/11 terrorist, I never saw a Klansman (at least to recognize one) while I was growing up. We were terrorized nonetheless. Klansmen struck under the cover of darkness. We never knew when they might strike or which of us may be the next victim. The terrorist acts were dramatic, could not be pin pointed and were very symbolic.
One of the most powerful elements of terrorism is the capacity of those not directly impacted by the terror to ignore those placed in terror and ignore those placing them in terror. Terrorists succeed because too many of us turn blind eyes and deaf ears. Yes, terrorism is powerful but terror does not last.
Hope and faith and love do last. I remember the terrorist acts, but I also remember those on flight 93 that gave their lives with the hope and faith that they were saving more lives. I also remember those first responders who gave or risked their lives to save those trapped in the burning World Trade Towers. I hereby honor those so moved by hope, faith and love as to risk and or give their lives so others might live.