I thought I could do it. I mean, I really had belief in my abilities. I guess I figured the more I read, the more I learned, the more I became educated, the more I would be able to put aside my emotions and learn from a more objective perspective.
But today, I finally cracked open the book I bought from the 9/11 Memorial Site in New York: “The 9/11 Commission Report.” It is a detailed, 643 page book, that goes through the entire events of 9/11, the communication failures, the plans, the responses and then discusses the aftermath of 9/11: terrorism, counter-terrorism, wars and new policies.
I only arrived at page 14 before I had to close the book for a few minutes, close my eyes and will myself not to be angry. Because is it truly possible not to hate those who destroyed so many lives? Is it possible to read the details of that horrifying day, learning about how our security and state leaders failed us, without feeling any pain? Can I really promise myself that I won’t discriminate against an entire religion based on the actions of these ten individuals?
And all these feelings are coming from a girl who does not personally know anyone hurt in these attacks.
I’m not sure if it is possible. But I do know I have to continue reading that book. The Chair of the Commission wrote that they are evaluating the past in order to understand the present and work towards a better future. That’s all we can ever hope to do.