Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they’d like to complain about. Leo Nevoli is back with another Guest Post today. His post discusses a relative of his affected by the September 11th attacks. So without further adieu, here’s Leo…
At least once a year, I go through my saved e-mails and read the one my cousin sent me at 8:37 a.m. years ago. I always read it on the anniversary of the day he sent it to me, because it helps me remember the events of that day in my own way. It was nine minutes after he clicked “send” that a plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He sent that e-mail on September 11, 2001. Minutes after that he made a call to his mother to tell her that he was fine, a general announcement was made in the South Tower, where he worked, to remain calm and stay in the building. Despite that announcement, he began to make his way out - he had reconstructive knee surgery a few months before and was slowly walking with a cane. Seventeen minutes after that first plane hit, another plane struck his South Tower.
Just writing this I am recalling the emotions my family went through that day. The unknown brought uncertainty, worry, concern, and fear. Was this e-mail the last communication I was going to have with my cousin? What about that phone call he made to his mother? Was that the last she would hear his voice? Communications were down in New York, and the last time anyone heard from him - he said he was alright, but that was before the second plane hit. His mother waited for a phone call from him, and not one from someone telling her of other news. It was late morning when the call came, and it was him saying he had made it home. She received the call she hoped for, and experienced other emotions: relief and joy. Others did not receive a call from their loved one saying they were fine, or saying “I love you” one last time. My family was one of the fortunate ones to have someone walk away from those events, but the memories stick with my cousin and our family.
The events of that day bring painful memories to people who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. They may relive the pain that day once a year, or may do what they can to avoid having to be reminded of that day. My cousin does not watch television on September 11th. He will go to the movies and/or stay outside (away from the news). Different things may remind people of that day; it might be the mention of the World Trade Center Towers, the date, a photo of a lost loved one, or the mention of the terrorist and their radical Islamic religious views. It is little reminders that people may not want to see or hear. That is why one has to wonder the motives behind a mosque being approved to be built 600-feet from where the Twin Towers once stood, and it is set to open on the ten-year anniversary of September 11th.
I am fine with freedom of religion and people practicing it - this is America and you are granted Freedom of Religion. However, by putting a mosque, a symbol of the terrorist’s religious belief near “Ground Zero” is rather insensitive to the families that lost loved ones that day. It is a clear reminder to people that visit “Ground Zero” who was behind it, and their beliefs. Some people believe that Muslims build mosques at the sites of what they consider to be “Great Victories”. If this is the case, then why is a mosque being built there? That building will have more then a mosque; it will have a pool and a daycare center. Kind of ironic to think that a daycare was destroyed that day, and the mosque will provide a new one.
This situation reminds me of a several years ago, when a guy who wanted to build a strip club and serve beer in a vacant lot in the neighborhood near where I live. The lot was next to a Catholic Church. Upon hearing the request, the people of the township and local politicians spoke out against it, and the guy decided to build it elsewhere. The people spoke up because it was in bad taste to have a strip club next to a church, and they did not care if he built it a mile away from the church, just as long as he did not build it next to the church. In this case politicians and people had the right idea, and stood for what they believed in. But what about building this mosque? Some politicians are supporting it being built, while others have spoken out against it.
To me, building the mosque close to “Ground Zero” is like building a halfway house for child molesters next to a grade school; (it is going to end badly). Maybe the people that support the mosque feel that true Americans will allow it to be built without people vandalizing it as retaliation for the events in 2001, because the people doing it will be no better then the terrorist that flew the planes. To me, building it near “Ground Zero” is rather insensitive to the memory of the firefighters, police officers and everyone else who lost their lives as innocent victims that day. I’m Leo Nevoli, and that’s my ponderings.