On the morning of September 11th, 2001 (9/11), I remember where I was when I heard that a plane hit the World Trade Center. I was driving along Route 103, commuting to work. By the time I reached Chester, I heard another radio report, a second plane hit the towers. I’ll bet many of you remember the details of that day, especially the thoughts and feelings you had when you learned of the second plane crash.
For a period of time, Americans came together and mourned for our 3000-plus citizens whose lives were taken prematurely. Most Americans, at least initially, supported the War in Afghanistan. But when it came to dealing with terrorism by invading Iraq in 2003, the American public became divided, yet again.
I remember where I was when I read about the young innocent children who lost their lives in Newtown, CT on December 14th, 2012 (12/14). I didn’t find out until my lunch hour. I had just logged out of my email, and then saw the headline. “Oh God, not another shooting!”.
Again, the nation came together to mourn. But when it comes to figuring out how to prevent, or at least minimize the amount of premature death that occurs in our country, we as a people find ourselves divided again. If we are not pitted against a foreign enemy, we seem to turn in on our fellow citizens, our neighbors.
Speaking of premature death, many Americans (including myself) attended Good Friday service and remembered the story of Jesus’ Passion. Twelve Fourteen was a “Bad Friday” for the families and citizens of Newtown, CT, and all Americans. For Christians, on Easter we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, overcoming death and (our) sin. But can America as a nation turn the Newtown tragedy, and other gun deaths, into something positive?
This week is the 45th anniversary of the premature death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, TN by an assassin’s bullet, on April 4th 1968. Within seven days after Dr. King’s assassination, the U.S. Congress and President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or national origin.
Since Twelve Fourteen, it has been 111 days. Other than speeches, press conferences, hearings, devisive partisan debates and reader comment forums, things are pretty much the status quo, except for in states like Colorado and Connecticut.