I was sitting in a seventh grade classroom on the day I learned, the day I truly learned, that hate had followed mankind into the 21st Century.
It was the day I learned my father could cry. It was the first day I learned evil did exist. That it was real and it killed people for what ever reason it wanted. The 21st Century didn’t leave behind the concept of slaughter just for someone’s origin, their nation, and their heritage.
Nineteen men would take it upon themselves to kill nearly 3,000 people. Just because they were probably American, that they were working in America and traveling in America. September 11th, 2001 proved that mankind had brought their vindictive hatred and grudges with them into the next century… and that it only takes one person to do that.
I knew, as I saw my father crying, as I saw the bodies of people falling from the towers, as I gazed at a TV screen showing flames and smoke and wreckage… as I watched the Towers fall… I cried too and I knew the fight was on, it had been dragged across the year 2000 by evil men with evil intentions and hollow justifications in their hearts. They brought it with them across the line so that anyone could pick it up for any reason to bring violence again and again.
I don’t know why, at twelve years old, I thought the turn of the century was some sort of barrier. I believed that the hatred of the past couldn’t cross the year 2000. This was the Information Age. We had weapons just in case, not because we were inevitably going to war and mankind can’t leave it behind.
I learned that it doesn’t take a nation to make war. The world learned war had changed again, just as it had at the last turn of the century. Mankind can never leave it behind, because it takes the united effort of everyone to do so. If even one person does not, then the effort fails… hatred remains… and war continues.
Nineteen years later, mankind still holds the hate we brought over the century mark even if some of the targets of it have changed.. and I just wish we would put it down. No conditions, no stipulations, no reasons to hang onto the hate. That part of my naive twelve year old self remains, and I’ll keep it. I know the reality, I know there are more fights to come both large and small, for righteous reasons and for selfish ones. I know it, I accept it.
But I can still wish it was done.
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Work for the brighter future.