It’s morning in America.
Here I am, thousands of miles away at University in Scotland and I think of how blessed I am to be an American. Don’t get me wrong-- I’ve been enjoying every minute of Edinburgh’s Fresher Welcome Week for new students. Exploring the sites, going to traditional Ceilidh Scottish dances, seeing comedians and British bands, and tinkering with my course schedule have kept me busy, but today is for reflection and prayer. September 11, 2001, is a day that altered the course of all Americans’ lives.
Today, on September 11, 2013, I walk the streets of Edinburgh among people of all nationalities. Many of whom do not understand the meaning of this somber day to America. The United Kingdom comprised of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, lacks a strong sense of UK pride, excluding events like the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Rarely, will a U—K chant erupt out of the blue to echo down a corridor as will a resounding U-S-A in the States. A comedian chided the other night that Americans’ are known for cheering. And indeed we have reason to cheer. We come from the greatest country in the world, regardless of what some think. Where with hard work, diligence, and ingenuity one can make something of their life. In America the government is meant to serve the people, as it is the people who hold the real power. It is not meant to go the other way.
On the streets of many UK cities it is common to see signs stating that CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) is in use, and is always watching you. The British have made a deal with their government: privacy for security. As American’s we are guaranteed our Bill of Rights to prevent an obtrusive government from making the people into servile citizens; this is something we must never forget nor allow to be infringed upon. Our Bill of Rights is aimed at preserving our way of life, but today we live in a world where even these bastions of freedom appear not to be foolproof.
We founded our government due to a failing in our mother country’s governance. Our Founding Fathers instilled political and community activism into the essence of our being. We are not a people to give in to the evil of the world. We are unlike any other nation in the world.
Today, we remember the loss of Americans that occurred twelve years ago. And the bravery, self-sacrifice, and spirit that occurred in its’ wake.
We are a marked people. People in the UK say they can recognize an American by the smile they wear on their countenance. I say this is a badge of honor. We are optimists. We are a unique people from a special place; we are a treasure of the world.
Wherever you are, take a moment to honor those lost on that day of terror. And do not forget.