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Nation shaped by 9/11

Dear Editor,

This one’s personal about Sept. 11, 2001.

My first memory is actually about one week before. Our after-dinner discussion was about how as Americans we live under this delusion that we are “safe.” Our freedoms, laws and privileges have made us complacent and smug. Smug is often followed by a reality kick to the head.

The next recollection was the evening of 9/11. That evening’s discussion was about: Yes, terrorist acts are done to create fear, but we were Americans. We wouldn’t fall for that, but it just seemed that there had to be more to this act that we just can’t see.

Anyone who could plan and execute such an audacious act wasn’t stupid. Unless he spent the majority of his life in a coma, he not only had to know what our reaction and response –including his death — would be, but he had to have factored that into the plan.

The overt acts felt just too obvious. My last memory came upon waking the day after the 2016 election. My very first thoughts were, “Well, bin Laden won!” He must be laughing in his grave at how successful his plan was to use planes as needles to inject cancer cells of insecurity, suspicion and fear to slowly fester, grow and spread until they were strong enough that we would destroy ourselves.

When we were Americans we all traveled on the same road going in the same direction. At times the road was bumpy, slippery or steep, but we never stopped. Sept. 11 was the fork in the road!

Half took one way, half the other. The 2016 election wasn’t about Democrats and Republicans. It was about those who got bin Laden cancer and those who didn’t.

The stricken couldn’t see that the only difference between Donald Trump and the long line of snake-oil peddlers promising miracle cures who came before him is that Trump has a larger audience with more and bigger fears. Sadly, snake-oil remedies only tend to cause different, worse conditions than the one they were bought to cure.

It all goes back to and began with 9/11. Now my memories of 9/11 have been replaced by these three.

Divided we fall.

Susan Dilick,

Clarendon, Pa.

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