Monday, September 12, 2011

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes

I wanted to use a quote from a Mumford & Sons song for this title. Because I just bought their album. Because, with the exception of one song containing some colorful language that I don't appreciate, I am in love with their folksy tunes.

But that's not the only thing I want you to know today.

I want you to know, that even though I wrote a somewhat cynical post about America once upon a time (you can read it here), I actually really appreciate the U.S. of A. And even while I think there's definite room for improvement in how our government operates (national debt anyone?) I have a lot of opportunities here that are just dandy. Most of all though, I appreciate our military. I talked about this in that other post, but I'll tell you again (because I know you're all too lazy to go read it). I don't profess to understand what soldiers have to go through in combat or even training. My grandpa fought in World War II and I can't remember him even mentioning it once. But I can say that I appreciate the ideals and values they are defending. I appreciate that they are willing to sacrifice their own safety for ours. And it's not just the military, either.

Seeing as I'm doing this in honor of 9/11, I want to mention the people affected by that too.

I didn't know anyone personally who was killed or injured in the disaster. I don't live near any of the crash sites. I don't think I really felt a change in my life at all when it happened. For 10 years I've been wearing red, white, and blue on September 11th and piously participating in a moment of silence during school. For 10 years I've been "remembering" the victims, firefighters, police officers, and families that were involved. And I still never really felt that affected by it. I didn't comprehend what it meant.

Well, after yesterday, I think I've finally come to understand what it means to me. Again, I don't think I can ever fully comprehend what the actual victims went through. But I can understand what I learned from it.

I learned that our world is never as safe as we think it is. We need to seize opportunities, make friends, tell our family members and friends that we love them. We need to gain all the knowledge and experience we can, because we can't predict when things we took for granted will be taken away by powers beyond our control. And most of all, we need to stand for what we believe in the face of trial. There is a certain power in sacrificing to help other people. And we need to appreciate the people that make those sacrifices for us, and then return the favor.

I know, I know. This isn't normal for me. Usually dead trees are more sappy than I am. But I figured it was appropriate for such a solemn occasion.
...I wonder if "hopeful" would be more appropriate.

Eh, you can take from it what you want.

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