Institutionalizing Fear

During time spent with family this weekend,  it was no surprise the subject of 9/11 came up.  You haven’t been able to read a newspaper, watch television, or listen to the radio during the last week without being reminded constantly of the ten-year anniversary of that fateful day.  Years ago, journalism professors taught that in all news reports you should tell the reader or listener what you are going to tell them, then, tell them the story and its details, and, finally, summarize what you have told them.

These days, we hear incessant reminders of what we will hear on any and every event.  Although almost anticlimactic, the day of memoria seems to be planned to wring the hearts and souls of all who listen.  Today and probably for a few more days, they will tell us what they have told us.  It’s almost as though the media thinks we might forget to remember.  How could we possibly forget such a momentous day when for the second time in our national history we were attacked by alien forces?

Like the day when the news of President Kennedy being shot for those of us who were alive then, we all remember where we were and what we were doing.  The initial numbness led us to begin a fight that has yet to end.  At times bogged down in the day-to-day dirty details of a war fought with a nimble enemy who vows to end us seeing us as an anathema to their way of life.  What they don’t understand, and we often forget, is that we are a nation of strong people who will defend to the death just as they will destroy by dying.

What is becoming more and more intolerable is the way the government and media have without relief instilled such fear in many of our citizens.  Reassurances of our resilience were few and only faintly heard.  There was no Franklin Delano Roosevelt telling us that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.  Rather we had a color coded Homeland Security Advisory System with five levels.  Intelligence garnered from various sources

determined what level our security was.  Initially, there were many days when the level was elevated or higher.  After a while, it became almost a joke and fewer and fewer people paid attention to the latest announcements of our security level.  What remained with too many citizens was a fear that has yet to go away.  There are constant reminders that this date or that date would probably bring about attacks.  Al Qaeda didn’t have to expend any time, energy, or money to further instill fear in America.  We quite handily did it to ourselves.

It is only smart to have a healthy respect for those who want to harm us and the havoc they can cause.  It isn’t smart to live in fear of what might happen.  Fear will weaken; resolve will strengthen.  There are too many problems in today’s America for us to borrow any more.  We must resolve to strengthen our financial core, to keep ourselves and our family strong.  We must keep family, God, and country strong against all enemies.  With a strong base, we can overcome any threat.  Our government and our media must stop institutionalizing fear and start resolving to be a united country, to be the America we have always been.  It behooves us to be the best that we can be each day, each hour.

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One Response to Institutionalizing Fear

  1. Leo says:

    Great thoughts, Mom. I also hope we can move away from fear and and move to taking care of each other and a united people.

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