On this day five years ago, a lot of choices were made. Some people choose to go to work, some people didn't. Some people got on a plane to travel, some didn't. Some people decided that their hatred of others was strong enough that it justified the destruction of civilian lives. They rationalized that because these people lived in the country they hated and they consumed goods made in the country they hated and lived according to the cultural standards of the country they hated, then these civilian lives were disposible and deserved to die. These civilians were men, women, children, white, black, asian, middle eastern, catholic, aethiest, jewish, and muslim -- and they deserved to die.
The callousness of the hijackers is incomprehensible to me. I do not understand how anyone can justify the actions that lead to Sept. 11, both those actions taken by the hijackers and those taken by US government officials. I do not understand the anger that the hijackers felt and the unquestioning devotion they had. What I do understand is that if the world does not adopt a culture of tolerance, then attacks will continue. I do not mean tolerance that blindly accepts all actions by others, nor do I mean for people to use the idea of tolerance to force the acceptance of their behavior. What I mean is the world should do its best to learn about each other, to communicate, to find common ground and to accept the differences of each others.
I pray that today, as one nation mourns, that the other nations are there to offer a hand of sympathy. No matter what the rest of the world thinks about this nation or the actions of this nations, what happened today five years ago was a tragedy. It was senseless and it was cruel. There are better ways to deal with hatred and misunderstandings and I hope we find them and use them.