Reaching Out Despite Battles That Rage On
On Tuesday night, the History Channel had continuous programs on the collapse of the World Trade Centers. The programs were pieced together from various archived sources and it was absolutely gut wrenching to watch.
One of the shows chronicled from when the first plane hit until after the second tower went down. It captured the range of emotions experienced by those in the area – firefighters, cops, citizens – both on the ground and in nearby buildings. It also provided a “boots on the ground” view of what safety responders were up against.
Mesmerizing due to its horror, I couldn’t stop watching as I recalled where I was when the events unfolded on television on Sept. 11, 2001. Seeing it played out again on TV in 2012, like I saw in 2011, 2010 and other years, brought to the surface again the shock of seeing our country under siege.
And while I will always remember where I was and what I was doing on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I hope that our country too will never forget.
So the grief that I went to bed with Tuesday night was reignited on Wednesday morning when waking up to the events occurring in Libya. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the embassy. There was also a similar attack on the American embassy in Cairo.
What ignited these powder kegs is not 100% clear, but it appears that an inflammatory video made here in the U.S. that slams Muslim prophet Muhammad may have been key.
It is hard for me to understand how taking the lives of people are justified because the feelings of a group are hurt by a film – a film that is not even endorsed by being shown in American theatres but on the Internet.
Christians and Jews have tolerated poor representations of their faith by filmmakers for decades. That is not to say that it is right, but that it is part of the price that is paid for living in America with all of the freedoms we enjoy. However, just a reminder that while we promote a society that embraces tolerance, I question how far reaching that tolerance should extend. For example, I don’t think we should tolerate the destruction of our embassies and the murders of our people.
I acknowledge that I don’t have all the answers – or resources – available to our leaders, but it is their responsibility to let our enemies know what it is we won’t tolerate.
Personally, I don’t envy their job these days.
On a lighter note, it is nice to have the chance to celebrate the diversity of our nation – or in the case of this weekend, our neighborhoods.
I’m talking about the first Korean Armenian Cultural Festival taking place at CV Park on Saturday and Sunday.
Living in the Crescenta Valley, we have many Korean and Armenian neighbors that we may not get the chance to know. This festival promises to be the opportunity to learn more about these two cultures.
The two-day event (Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will include carnival rides, games, martial art demonstrations, traditional foods, music, arts and crafts, and more.
We share many things here – our schools, our shops, our churches. The festival is an easy and fun way to get to know each other a little bit better.
I hope to see you this weekend.