Where were you when life as we know it changed utterly?
Do you remember when you could walk all the way to the airport gate to wave good-bye to your husband as he boarded a plane? Or when you could pass through the turnstile at a football game or concert without having your bag searched?
Have you forgotten a time when we as a country didn't know what Al Qaeda was or where Tajikastan was or how to pronounce Azerbaijan?
Or who Osama Bin Laden was?
On a much more practical and mundane level, do you remember when you could fill your gas tank for less than twenty bucks?
Twenty terrorists took a joy ride that cost them their lives and killed 3000 people on American soil. But the damage is so much more than that. Our collective initial burst of patriotism and shared sorrow following the attacks on September 11, 2001, has devolved into suspicion and lost innocence and exceptionalism. It's sad, to me, what's happened.
We live in fear. Well, many of us do, anyway. I try not to, and I have my recovery to thank for that.
There ain't no big deals.
Live and let live.
One day at a time.
I've learned those lessons and more in the rooms of AA, and I'm grateful I don't spend my days worrying about what's going to happen next. And when it's going to happen.
We've seen our civil liberties erode, we've spent trillions of dollars, we've lost hundreds of thousands of military and civilian lives, we've committed untold resources to rebuild what we've destroyed overseas.
I somehow think the 3000 who died 11 years ago today wouldn't have wanted to see this happen in their defense. They might, as I am, be a bit cynical of those who wrap themselves in the flag and wave the Constitution, while politicians call for an ever-expanding military budget.
They might think it more important to live in peace, instead of in war.