Monday, September 12, 2011

I Remember

September 11, 2001

It was my first experience working on a live stage production in the capacity as both a supporting role and as the assistant director. I was warned of "Hell Week" which is what cast and crew refer to as tech week. I was unprepared to the reality that "Hell Week" became literal.

Early Tuesday morning I was awakened by an incoherent voicemail sent by my director. I did not understand anything he said except of the possibility of local San Francisco landmarks possibly getting attacked, and the final statement of "tonight will be business as usual, the show must go on. We'll work on lighting and scene transitions tonight. Make sure the entire cast is present." Afterwards, I received a couple of frantic voicemail and text messages from Singapore making sure my immediate family and myself were fine.

Confused, I turned the television on and saw images of the first plane slamming into the World Trade Center. I changed channels and saw that EVERY channel including MTV and ESPN was showing footage. My initial response was "what the f***???" Later on, images of the Pentagon and a vacant field where two other plane crashed appeared. It really felt like a science fiction movie. My next immediate thought was "I hope to Hell that whoever did this isn't Asian."

I was not born when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, nor when Kennedy, Malcolm X, or Martin Luther King was assassinated. I joined a protest after the verdict of the Rodney King trail chanting "No Justice, No Peace." I was never prepared for the depth and magnitude 911 created for the entire world.

People who were around during the times of the assassinations of King, Kennedy, and X stated and concluded "things were never the same since then." In my lifetime echos of the same sentiment were loudly declared following September 11, 2001. It's been declared that "we could never go back."

Were we supposed to "go back," and if so, "go back where?" We were never meant to "go back" even if the events of 911 never occurred. So I ask ten years later, "go back to where?"

Do we want to "go back" to the days of our day to day living without color security codes?

Do we want to "go back" to minimal security lines when traveling via air?

Do we want to "go back" to being able to pick up loved ones directly from the gates upon arrival?

Me too.

Ten years later, I ask this question: "why NOT?" Who says we can't go back? We made emotional statements in the aftermath, "the terrorist can't and won't win. Freedom and Love will."

To me, when we "go back" I'll chalk that up as evidence that terrorism "lost."

I've stated this over the past ten years. The War on Terror is not a war we're meant to win. At least not by the way we're fighting it. The so called enemy is not a country, race or religion. It was and always been a state of mind within humanity. When it's humanity, that means it includes you and me. We are also not utilizing the right artillery in this battle either. The best weapon is love. Not the Kumbaya kind of love, not the love we declare when we're horny, not even the love that's used in a term or greeting like "Jesus loves you."

This kind of love is when you're able to look into the eyes of another person regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and be able to simultaneously see the image and reflection of two beings: yourself and God. That's the love that'll lead the victory march against terror.

Please start now. Ten more years is too long of a time to wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment