Today is September 11, 2012. 11 years later. A recap is not necessary. I’ve been sitting on this post for a week and my 9/11 post was going to be a lot different, until I saw this status on Facebook—the cousin of someone in the Navy, and the Marine Corps. An American.
I get severe anxiety just thinking about how I wanted to respond, how I responded, anticipating a response and where to go from here. I realized a response on Facebook wasn’t appropriate, because this person’s views were not going to change—they were ignorant enough to post this. This is a family member on my husband’s side of the family. I do not regret this post, because she is not the only one in America to say something like this.
To note: as soon as I got the Really Chelsea? response, they put up a status that said "Ignorance must really be bliss" YES, IT MUST.
My first response was going to be “I’m glad your cousin lived, because it would’ve been pretty inconvenient if he died, right?” I also wanted to say “I would love to give you the contact information of all of the parents of my friends who have died so that you can contact them and tell them to get the hell over it and that it was sooooo 10 years ago.” Next time your cousin comes home, I want you to walk up to him and tell him to his face “You’re stupid for joining the Marine Corps because of 9/11. “
Whose damn life is any better because of 9/11? You have YET to answer me. You and your sister must be pretty proud of yourselves, being able to ignore the past, think its stupid and crack jokes about your mom’s vagina. Classy and very American.
Hang on, I have to take a bottle of Xanex.
We’ve memorialized that horrible day enough? What about your Grandpa who is a veteran? What about WWI, WWII, Desert Storm, Normandy and etc… Screw history books, that shit was so long ago. How annoying that we keep hearing about it and learning about it. History is history and we shouldn’t care about it.
9/11/01 changed your ungrateful life whether you’re willing to admit it or not. I am so sad and angry at the same time. I’m shaking as I write this and have tried to ignore it for a week. Our damn country came together for like 2 months and by came together, you mean put ribbons and flags on cars because being patriotic was cool. Let’s focus on college football. Go Blue & Fire Up Chips.
I’m still waiting—what good came of that day? You have no idea that we are still at war, do you? You have no idea what military families go through, do you? Would you like to visit my friend’s grave and remove the tombstone because he died fighting for your damn freedom and defending your country?
If you were able to justify your status, you would have, instead of getting snarky with me. Your family doesn’t back you, by the way, and you pissed a lot of people off, I’m just the only one willing to bite the bullet and say something. You have no idea what I really wanted to say to you.
Instead of asking your cousin, an Active Duty Marine, what he thought (well, I know what he thinks because we had a few choice words exchanged over your status, but you’re not friends with him on Facebook so he couldn’t comment. Maybe now we know why you’re not friends with him. Damn him for being patriotic and fighting for your country), he has nothing to say to you. I realize an open letter to you and other people that take advantage of being American might be childish, but I was advised by many not to comment to you directly.
Anyways, a few Marines have a response for you and those like you:
The following was written by a “former” Marine—yes, once a Marine, Always a Marine.
I’m a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, but only a shell of someone once warm. Mixed together, you have purpose, truth, and a sequence of duties. A breath in, a breath out– eyes closed then opened. I’ve been a warrior, fought in two wars, and I’m engaged in my third. A battlefield close to home– terror, hatred, uncertainty, and fear now live constant amongst my dark. My thoughts, caught in a firefight– a mind, backed in to a corner. My dreams fuel me at night and as I wake up for the day the nightmares continue. Medicated with artificial hope… 1 pill, 2 pills, 3 pills, 4, I see myself becoming more entrenched in my ways.
I remember the day well; the World Trade Centers were engulfed in flames & smoke. I didn’t realize it then, but it would change my life forever and will continue to do so for the remaining life I have left. Thousands of lives were gone in an instant. Thousands more were to follow, as the United States prepared to go to war against our enemies.
It always makes me laugh when I think about it now. Millions of American flags were displayed in towns, along residential streets, and along the highways blanketing our country. After awhile they started to disappear, paving way to protest and discontent. Some say we were unified. They said, “This terror has united a nation”. Had it? Are we united now? Interesting how two people nearly said the same thing and these posts were compiled right before this was published.
These days I’m a shell of someone who was once bright and ambitious. Now, after leaving my heart in the mountains of the Korengal Valley or in the feces infested streets and alleyways of Iraq, I find myself numb. I’m not sure if I’ll ever come back, because in my mind I’m still there.
Recently I was asked how I felt about a Facebook status that someone had posted. It read as follows (word for word with spelling and grammatical errors):
“Ok, stop focusing on all the negatives of 9/11. Yes a lot of people list their lives, but what about the survivors? What about the lives that were changed for the good because of that day. Geez! Ok I feel better”
After reading this it seemed to take a minute for me to catch my breath. I had to re-read it over and over hoping dearly to understand what it meant. Good? From 9/11? Tell me, what about the survivors? Certainly you don’t think some sort of good came from being a survivor, do you? The survivors guilt, the nightmares, the pure terror from that day- is it really a good thing?
I wake up every day with war on my mind. I cannot hold my infant child without seeing the children of war, lifeless and bleeding from their mouths and ears. Do you think you would “feel better” if you had to carry the torso of a child who lost limbs from an enemy rocket attack? How about telling a grieving family that you have to inspect and take pictures of their dead infant prior to burial because you’re unsure if it’s really just an IED? I’m not sure I see much good in that. What reality are you living in?
I’m glad you “feel better”, because for the rest of my life, like so many others, I won’t.
Not to mention, his daughter’s birthday is also 9/11.
The one good thing that came from 9/11? He and my husband met in Iraq and we are all friends. Oh wait, they would’ve met anyway because he has always been one of my close friends.
Nothing good came from September 11, 2001, World War I, World War II or anything else you deem irrelevant.
**Update- someone who commented above (not the original status poster) deleted a family member for siding with the fact that 9/11 shouldn't be ignored.
** 2nd update - she deleted me and other family members off Facebook without saying a word. Clearly has nothing to back herself up with.