On This Day

American Flag We continue to mourn our loss and to rage against the perpetrators of the vile act of terror seen on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The devastation is of a scope beyond what a single mind can grasp, yet we must bear it together as a nation. In this crisis and its aftermath, citizens who once seemed as strangers to one another now come together as neighbors and friends.

Grief is widespread, even beyond our borders and our citizenry. Around the world, nations have declared unity with us and condemned the actions of those responsible for this tragedy. It is recognized as a tragedy for all. People foreign to our country, though they may never even have set foot on our soil, have declared, "Today, I am an American."

On this day, I, born in this land, mourn and rage and struggle to grasp the enormity of a thing far too great and terrible for reason. I grieve for those lost and for the loved ones of the lost. I worry for the surviving yet still unaccounted for. I am concerned for our future. Knowing of the prejudice that exists and which has been exacerbated by Tuesday's events, I also fear for both our Muslim citizens and guests, whatever their ethnicity, and those here who are of Middle Eastern descent, whatever their faith. We must not be ruled by hate. It was hate and a specific collection of individuals that brought down four planes this past week, not all of the Arab or Islamic world.

On this day, I will not let down those who have joined with us in spirit around the globe. I will not turn away from my fellow Americans and human beings. I am an American. I am also a woman, a Lesbian, a Jew. I am a Basican, a person of faith, sworn to my beliefs. And now, today, I am also an Arab and a Muslim.

Our structures may be destroyed, but they are not America. America is within us.

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