14 years ago today, I was a contractor at Universal Data Stream, and late for work, stuck in traffic. NPR reported a “small plane” had crashed into the World Trade Center. I spent much of the day streaming video feeds and coordinating check-ins of friend and family.
A handful of men managed to take down four planes with box cutters, killing almost 3,000 innocent Americans in the process. Then something snapped. The world turned upside down and the hornets nest was swarming.
In the ensuing years I watched, appalled, as my beloved nation waged wars on people who had nothing to do with the attack, taking almost a decade to track down the actual person behind the original atrocity. Even today, many Americans have become bigoted against a large and mostly innocent portion of the world because they nominally share a religion and perhaps a geographic region with those responsible. Our retribution, spread too broad, has now inspired a large portion of the world to hate our great nation.
Today, I wish to restore the honor we once had by working to become a Legislator. America has never failed when we have taken the moral high ground. We cannot pay innocent blood for innocent blood, 585 innocent foreigners for every innocent American, and expect that to be Justice. Let all those innocent lives lost not have been a signal of our impending downfall, but rather, a light and inspiration when we come together and mark this day.