Where were you on 9/11?
That was a day I will never forget. I believe that day of horrors brought vital lessons to America (and the rest of the world), lessons that if left unlearned, put us all in eminent danger.
How many will never forget? Those that lost loved ones will never forget. Those that tried to help in the search and rescue will never forget. Those that enlisted into the armed services, police, became fire fighters etc as a result – and their families – will certainly never forget. What about the rest of America? And the world?
From my perspective it seems like 9/11 was a kick in the side of a sleeping giant. The giant seemed like it was going to wake up but instead of rising to its full power, the giant mumbled, rolled over and continued sleeping.
I found an article I wrote a year after the attacks of 9/11 (added below). Nothing much seems to have changed since then.
One hour after the enormity of the attacks became clear Israel had a rescue team on stand-by to assist New York’s first responders. Unfortunately our experience in the area of terrorism and its aftermath is unparalleled. We are small but we wanted to everything we could to help. America did not allow us to go.
A year later we still could not help so the country focused on saving the life of one little girl.
I cannot help but think of Todd Beamer and the passengers of United 93 who decided that it was better to go down in flames than to be used as a killing machine to murder and terrorize other Americans. Todd told the other passengers “Let’s roll!” and then they stormed the cockpit – their plane would not slam into another building.
Israel has a “Let’s roll!” mentality. That’s what keeps us safe. That’s also the attitude that made this country a start-up nation – a pioneer in cutting edge, world influencing technology, leader in medicine, innovation and more.
“Let’s roll” is a state of mind that can change everything. It can literally change the world. The only question now is who is going to take up the cry?
Below is the article I wrote one year after 9/11
How Israel decided to commemorate 9/11 one year later
September 11th is a date that will be commemorated in different ways all over the world. Some people will have memorial ceremonies, others will have street parties.
Israel, like so many countries around the world has chosen to put special emphasis on the 9/11 events in the television broadcasting schedule. Israeli reporters are going to the US to cover the memorial services. There will also be memorial ceremonies and special attention given to the tragic events in various school activities.
Israel mourned the terrorist attacks on America with great intensity. Israelis saw America as the embodiment of everything that is wonderful about Israel, without the terrorism. All the ideals of democracy, freedom and equal opportunities, without death by acts of war. When something was particularly good, pleasant or luxurious it was often said to be: “like in America”, even by people who had never been to America. After 9/11, sadly, many things in America became “like in Israel”.
The Israeli people along with our government were extremely disappointed and frustrated when we were not given permission to send to New York the specialist team of rescue workers that was ready to leave the country an hour after the first plane hit. We wanted to help our big brother in democracy so very badly. It tore our hearts out to watch everyday heroes, just like our everyday heroes, toiling ceaselessly to save lives but to no avail.
A year later we still cannot help America. We honor the victims of the attacks by remembering their suffering. We are still in mourning for the country where idealism could thrive without terrorists trying to end it. On top of all this we honor the 9/11 victims by trying to give life to someone we can help.
Being such a tiny country is a huge disadvantage when you are surrounded by enemy states. On the other hand, being such a tiny country can be an enormous an enormous advantage when you are a little girl who needs help.
Tomorrow, September 11, 2002, the people of Israel will try to save the life of a three year old girl named Noyah. Noyah has leukemia and is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. Tomorrow we will remember America and her pain. We will also go out to special stations in the shopping malls and emergency rooms all over the country to be tested to see if our bone marrow is a match for Noyah. We will honor those we could not save by saving Noyah. Someone will be a match for her and she will live. We wish we could do more but at least we can save Noyah.
May the families of the victims have renewed peace.
May America never know terrorism again.