Monday, September 11, 2023

Perhaps What We Need are "Thoughts and Prayers"

Today, our President will commemorate the real attack on our Democracy that took place on 9/11/2001.  He'll speak during a brief stop-over in Alaska.  No big deal, just another item on his calendar.  Sadly, that will be true for most of us. Like the photograph below, 9/11 has faded into a blur.

Today, when politicians speak of an attack upon Democracy, they are referring to January 6th when a normal political protest in Washington, D.C degenerated into an unruly crowd and then into a relatively small riot. One person was tragically killed. And a few hundred politicians saw it as the opportunity of a lifetime to gain control of the political dialog in our nation. Somehow they managed to arrest over a thousand people for this relatively tiny event.  Nearly 500 have received jail sentences.

Compare that to September 11. 2001.  On that day 2,997 lost their lives.  For those of us who were alive that day (our numbers decrease each year) we witnessed a terrorist attack so huge and so evil we thought it would shape our country forever. Boy, did we call that one wrong. We thought the terrorists were evil incarnate.  We thought their cunning, hatred and their sheer power to inflict pain were without parallel in modern history.  We underestimated the power of our own U.S. politicians.  9/11 is gone. January 6th reigns supreme.

Did you realize we never convicted a single person for killing 2,997 people?   We genuinely lack the will to convict the terrorists and are now considering releasing them from Guantanamo Bay.  It is important to note that we did track down and execute the 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden.

But, because we have learned nothing, we have abandoned the people of Afghanistan... again... as usual.

Meanwhile we have managed to place former President Donald Trump on trial all over the United States as he attempts to run for re-election. Priorities, people! January 6th, that is what is important.


Today, as I have every September 11th since 2006, I'm taking a time to remember Peter Hanson, the handsome, young software engineer, Sue Kim Hanson, his Korean-American bride, and their two old daughter, Christine.

The Hanson's were killed when United Flight 175 was hijacked by the terrorists and purposely crashed into the World Trade Center.

Sue Kim was a Doctoral Candidate at Boston University.  She, Peter and Christine decided to take a vacation to Disneyland and to visit Sue Kim's father in California before she had to defend her Doctoral Thesis.

Blind hatred killed the Hanson's.  The terrorists never knew them, because to know them might have lead to understanding, to doubt in their mission, to have concerns about the justness of their cause.  The leader of the terrorists, Osama bin Laden didn't want to know people, he wanted to see numbers.  Peter, Sue Kim and Christine weren't people to the terrorists, they were just the number 3. Just 3 out of 2,997.  We need to remember them, as angels.

Please take a few minutes today to remember Peter, Sue Kim and Christine.  Say a prayer for them and their families.  Say a prayer for us all.  Remember people today, not numbers.


In 2006 a blogger project was begun on the fifth anniversary of 9-11.  Called the "2,996 Project" volunteers were asked to write a short remembrance for each of the victims of the September 11, 2001.attack.  I was randomly assigned Sue Kim Hanson.  Each year since I have repeated my effort to honor Sue Kim and her family.  You can read each of my essays following the links below:

September 11, 2006 - Susan Kim Hanson

September 11, 2007 - Remembering Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2008 - Remembering Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2009 - Remembering the Reality: 9-11-2001: Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2010 - Reflections on the Life of Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2011 - Tears in Tragedy - Remembering Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2012 - Honoring the Memory of Peter, Sue and Christine Hanson

Spetember 11, 2013 - The Tragedy of War, The Victims of Hate, Remembering Peter, Sue Kim and Christine Hanson

September 11, 2014 - Will Hatred Ever Be Replaced with Understanding? Remembering Sue Kim Hanson on 9/11