Remembering and Dissertations
On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked in a series of coordinated terrorists attacks aimed at the civilian population. At the time we said, “Never Forget.” Today, let’s remember…
This is a tough one for me to write. Each day I send out a silly little blog post pertaining to dissertations. I hope that some of these posts make you laugh a bit, or at least crack a smile. I hope that some of them make you think about your dissertation a little differently. I hope that some of them give you motivation or confidence. I hope that they help you realize that you’re not alone. And, of course, I hope that some of these missives will really resonate with you and you’ll reach out to see if we may be able to work together.
Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of sharing your ideas. Today, we consider the consequences of not valuing a free exchange of ideas. When you keep your ideas to yourself or a small group of like-minded people, you run the risk of losing touch with the rest of the world and discending into madness. A single person can be called a hermit, a crazy old lady, or a mad man. Groupthink pervades cults, gangs, and terrorists groups.
The inability to listen to anyone who doesn’t think like you do hardens men’s hearts and closes their minds. And, before you start to feel too superior about the Land of the Free, we have to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Our society has become fissured by an us-vs-them mentality. Red states and blue states. Liberal and conservative. Republican and Democrat.
People who love this country so deeply that they chose to come here and raise their families, build their businesses, live their lives, are being deported because they weren’t born here. Another “them.”
Race, sex, gender, who you love, how you pray, city or country, rich or poor. With all that can divide us, it’s clear that we’re all “us” … And, we’re all “them,” too.
So, when we remember today what happened then, let’s also remember why. No, we didn’t bring this on ourselves. This was “them.” But, if we work to break down the walls between us and them, instead of trying to build more walls to keep us apart, perhaps one day there will be no “them” to hurt “us.”
08:46:40 — American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 carrying 81 passengers and 11 crew members, crashes into the north face of the North Tower (1 WTC) of the World Trade Center, between floors 93 and 99. The aircraft enters the tower intact.
09:03:00 — United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767, carrying 56 passengers and nine crew members, crashes into the south face of the South Tower (2 WTC) of the World Trade Center, between floors 77 and 85. Parts of the plane, including the starboard engine, leave the building from its east and north sides, falling to the ground six blocks away.
09:37:46 — American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 with 58 passengers and six crew members, crashes into the western side of The Pentagon and starts a violent fire.
09:59:00 — The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 56 minutes after the impact of Flight 175.
10:03:11 — United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 37 passengers and seven crew members, is crashed by its hijackers and passengers, due to fighting in the cockpit 80 miles (129 km) southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Later reports indicate that passengers had learned about the World Trade Center and Pentagon crashes and were resisting the hijackers. The 9/11 Commission believed that Flight 93’s target was either the United States Capitol building or the White House in Washington, D.C.
10:28:22 — The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 1 hour, 42 minutes after the impact of Flight 11. The Marriott Hotel, located at the base of the two towers, is also destroyed.
10:50:19 — Five stories of part of the Pentagon collapse due to the fire.
Two hours one morning, just like the attack on Pearl Harbor. But, this time it was witnessed live around the world as it happened. Everyone who was at least ten years old on Sept 11th, 2001 remembers where they were.
Never forget that our freedoms aren’t free.
Never forget that there are those who want to take our freedoms from us.
Never forget that “they” aren’t really monsters. “They” are people trying to make their way in this world, just like “us.” But, their circumstances took them on a far different path. One that you hope that you wouldn’t choose, but you cannot know.
Never forget that what you have in common with “them” greatly exceeds your differences.
Never forget that making the world a better place is the best revenge against those who would try to tear it down. And, it also makes for less “them” in the future who may want to do so.
So, as we move forward together, it’s important to honor this country and the freedoms it provides by making it a better place.
For those of you reading this blog that may be teaching, or counseling, or leading. It may be opening your business. Whatever your vision, whatever your calling, you’ve decided that you need your doctoral degree in order to succeed.