Monday, September 11, 2006

Nine Eleven and the Museum of Flight

This date is ever etched into our hearts and minds. "Where were you when it happened?" is a common question, like when President Kennedy was shot.

After driving to work and listening on the radio I remember the thoughts in my head... "Armageddon? Is this the end? I have friends in New York. I have to find out if they're okay."

So I hopped on my work computer and emailed my network of friends. Within a day I found out that several of my friends were indeed okay. The Internet proved extremely valuable at this point. My co-worker-friend and I were glued to several website grabbing any piece of news. I don't we got any work done that day. I don't think anyone did.

After having been to the Museum of Flight in Greater Seattle last month, I had a very emotional experience walking through the World War II exhibit. This exhibit was huge, had full-sized fighter planes, tonnes of war memorabilia on decorated pilots, videos and pictures on every air battle, front page newspaper clippings, etc. The enormous room had a dark erie feeling with lighting only where needed.

I thought about how many had died. I thought about my late grandfather who fought in WWI as a teenager then fled Ukraine for Canada a decade later. I thought about his late brother who was in WWII. I thought about my friend Gordon who was in the Navy on D-Day. I thought about how lucky I am. They weren't just fighting and dying back for freedom back then. They all fought for all of us to live as we do today.

While I believe freedom and liberty are a right for every person, over history, it has been one of the most difficult rights for us to achieve and maintain. After nine eleven, we have been assessing the threat to our freedom and liberty by terrorists. We have also assessed our own country's need to tame some aspects of freedom and liberty we used to enjoy in the name of security. It's a difficult balance.

For the brave Canadians who have died in Afghanistan, there are many questions. While for many, at the present moment it may seem like the sacrifice was in vain, we must also look to the future, for they have died for that future.

When you think of what happened five years ago, not only should we think of all the people who perished that day, but think of all the people and events that were effected as a result of that horrific act.

The battle for freedom is ongoing. For if it was not, I wouldn't be typing this.

Lest we forget.

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