Saturday, September 10, 2011

What has 9/11 taught Americans?

When I was growing up I'd hear people say, "Do you remember where you were when you heard that John F. Kennedy died?  Well I remember 9/11/2001 like it was yesterday, even though I wasn't there and I lived on the West Coast.   I was woken by Kurt, Natalie's Dad, calling me to say
don't let Natalie see any T.V. this morning. Then he tells me that the Twin Towers were crashed into..blah...blah..blah....  I'll admit I was half asleep and didn't really pay attention, I just knew not to turn on the T.V.  When I talked to my mom, later that day, she heard about it from her sister who lives in Sweden.  Us West Coast people were sleeping, in innocence while the rest of the world was in mourning and shock.

Since I hadn't watched the news and what Kurt said was a blur. I just got ready to go to Mommy and me like it was a normal Tuesday.  Every Tuesday, unless it was a major holiday, we went to Mommy and me from 10am and 12am.  It defined our week till Natalie started preschool.  On 9/11 Natalie had only been in preschool for a week or two and the first two years she just went Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I was working as a substitute teacher now too.  It was a time of new beginnings for both Natalie and I.

While we drove to my friend Debbie, who had two young sons near Natalie's age, I heard the radio and found out more about what Kurt had talked about. I was thinking....what?!!! It still didn't make a lot of sense. I kept on driving to Debbie's and when I got there I found out that I was the only one to show up. Every one of the other moms had paid attention to the news and had stayed home. Everyone was glued to their T.V.'s. We had the kids play in the boy's room while we snuck and watched the TV in the living room. We all sat and watched the Towers being crashed into, learning about the Pentagon and the plane crashing in Penn. We hadn't had anything, like this, happen to the US since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 1941. I had seen men fighting in Vietnam and the Gulf War on TV. Watching all of this happen to innocent people was horrendous.

I don't want to focus, today, on what horrible things happened, but what we have learned from 9/11, in the past 10 years.

1)  Never take American Freedom for granted because Freedom and Peace comes at a Price.

2)  Our neighbors are our friends and we need to reach out to each other, and not just in a crisis.

Did you know that the site "Meet up" was created in response to what happened 10 years ago? "Meet Up" is a site where you can find people who like to do the same things that you do. You fill out a questionare saying what you like to do. You can also search local Meet Ups to see what you would be interested. Recently I went to not one but two game nights through local meet up groups. I had put, in the questionare, that I liked board games. One time we met in someone's home and the other time we met in the upstairs community room for the local mall.

I just got an email, from the meet up groups about why they started this:

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don't write to our whole community often, but this week is
special because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many
people don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles
from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought
local community doesn't matter much if we've got the internet
and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I
hoped they wouldn't bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors
in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to
neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normally
ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each
other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring
people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was
born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- and
grow local communities?

We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was a
crazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to make
people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months
after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it's
working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,
Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of
100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except one

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to
neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.
They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and
motivate each other, they babysit each other's kids and find
other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace
together. They make friends and form powerful community. It's
powerful stuff.

It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks
to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren't about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it
weren't for 9/11.

9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk to
strangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart. No, we're building new
community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting started
with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011

If you want to learn more about Meet Up groups and find one near you go to:


1 comment:

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Well apparently some people didn't learn much mayor Bloomberg who wants us to stop calling it "Ground Zero" and didn't invite the first responders.
yup, I'm ticked !
I have always appreciated our military and I hope none of us ever forget ...