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This weekend, Americans will pause to mark the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on our nation. As we pay our respects, I think we also need to remember how we felt on that day, and never let the emotion fade from our consciousness. My feelings about that day are crystal clear.
No matter where you were on September 11, 2001, you were a target. That’s right, the terrorists were after you that day, and still are.
Why you, personally? Because if you’re reading this, you have access to the diverse range of information and ideas the Internet makes available. Ideas liberate the mind and give wings to our spirit.
And that pisses off the terrorists like you couldn’t believe.
They don’t like free thinkers. They don’t like people who challenge them. They don’t like anyone’s rules but their own. So, my friend, you (and I) are still a target.
So I propose we targets work together against our common enemy.
I’m not calling for a war. We’ve got a couple on our hands already, and I’ll leave that fight to our brave men and women in the military. (Thank you to every rock star who wears or has ever worn our flag into battle. We’re looking forward to the day you can come home because we don’t need you out there anymore.)
The United States of America is the most innovative and ambitious nation on the planet. And together with like-minded friends from other nations, we’ve eradicated disease, stood up for human rights and made space travel nearly mundane.
In the same breath, we Americans (and our like-minded friends) can be some of the laziest, dumbest and foolish people around. We can wander through our days like sheep, head down, paying no attention to the opportunities around us.
When we choose to be the former, and reject the latter, we embrace our full potential and become the people we need to be. We change lives. We make the world a better place. We lift people up, and in the process, lift up ourselves.
And we beat the terrorists.
So this weekend, as we remember those people we lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, let’s honor their memories by being better ourselves. Make their legacy the world we want to leave to our children.