Personal Essay: Remembering 9/11

by Dave Hood

Life moves so quickly. It’s hard to believe that 11 years have passed since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I was at my desk working as a technical writer at the time. I’ll never forget watching two planes fly into the side of the World Trade Center. I’ll never forget the innocent, desperate souls jumping from these building, engulfed in flames.

What have we learned? I have learned that life can end at any given moment—for the most bizarre reason. Evil also exists in the world, despite the good nature of most people. There is also a clash of civilizations–western values and beliefs versus medieval mentality.

Many people don’t like Americans, and believe that the attacks were retribution for American Imperialism. I believe this is just propaganda and envy and hatred toward America. I am thankful for being able to live next to the United States. This country protects us from attack and is our friend from a distance.  The vast majority of Americans are just like Canadians. They want peace, order, and good government. They desire happiness and a good life. They value liberal democracy, a free-market economy, social justice.

The Buddhist perspective is that everything is “impermanent.” We are born, mature, live our lives, and die, like the sun rises and sets, like spring becomes summer, turns to autumn, and ends in winter, like the arrow of time. Nothing remains the same.

The Buddhist perspective also teaches that “life is about suffering.”  How many countless people have suffered from this evil act of 9/11? It represents religious extremism, fanaticism, at its worst. A sad day for all of humanity.

Christopher Hitches wrote that “religion is the root of much evil.” The terrorist attacks of 9/11 illuminate this truth.

We must never forget.

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About Dave Hood

Lover of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Professional photographer and writer. Without the arts, life would be rather mundane, like a walk down the same old path on a dull day.
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