Fear-fueled apathy: another kind of terror

Meranda was in pre-calculus receiving her homework assignment.

Brian was at his friend’s house getting ready to go to the gym.

Jen was studying formulas in algebra.

Jackie was dissecting a worm in biology.

All of us have a story. All of us have that ordinary moment that would become a turning point of our personal and national history. All of us remember.

Sept. 11, 2001, became the next day that would live in infamy. It was our generation’s Pearl Harbor. Iraq is our Vietnam.

Or is it?

After the Japanese attacked and destroyed 12 American warships, the “sleeping giant” that was the United States awoke with a vengeance. A divided nation stood behind its forlorn marines providing relief efforts of all forms.

Similarly, after Sept. 11, our nation mobilized to clean up the aftermath of such devastation and provided medical and psychological support to the victims.

And that’s where it stops.

It is always easier to look at these histories and romanticize something so raw. But, the point this editorial needs to make is that those acts of selflessness and caring need to not just be nostalgic memories resurrecting in remembrance services and history books.

Some call us the generation of “Who Cares?” And who can blame them? As soon as the dust had settled and the news coverage wasn’t solely on the attacks, we went back to our MTV, our instant messenger.

We aren’t denying the patriotism in not letting it change the way we live, but there are lessons that we still haven’t learned.

We wanted our solution to Sept. 11 to be instantaneous. We went unquestioningly into the dark with our president’s poorly planned rebuttals and accusations. Our solution for Sept. 11 was shopping and putting American flags in every crevice of our houses..

Our society became one of apathy fueled by fear. It seems as though we have left all these big decisions to those in higher places. Our voices have not been loud and our eyes have been blind. When it comes to rallying behind what we believe or continuing efforts for relief, we’d rather be Facebooking.

And does anyone else see the irony of the fact that we are sending our loved ones overseas to fight for democracy in another country and yet politicians are practically begging for our generation to vote – the dominant principle of democracy?

To really not let terrorism and fear win, we need to question political moves and make our voices heard. We need to remove the blindfolds and really take a look at what decisions are being made for us. You can love the decision, you can hate the decision, just be aware.

If we had challenged ideas in the onset of Sept. 11 legislation and ideas, we could have saved more lives than we as a nation have lost. The Patriot Act, the War on Terror – how different would these be if we had not been so afraid?

Watch the news, vote, write letters to your elected officials and your newspaper. Do something. We owe it to those who no longer can because of Sept. 11.

The above is editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.