I can agree with some that say there have been plenty of tragedies worldwide where plenty more lives were lost. So what was special about the loss experienced ten years ago on Sept. 11th, 2001 in the United States?
I might have a bias on this subject because I am a first responder in a different city. That very day, as I was watching the unfolding of this tragedy on the television with the rest of the world, I was also preparing to respond the same way my fellow first-responders in NYC were doing.
What was so special was that people came together to help strangers. NYC had such a reputation as the hustle-and-bustle place where you would get run over if you didn't get out of the way. But it wasn't like that after this tragedy. We could focus on the first responders or we could focus on the ordinary citizens or we could even focus on the national and international responders in the days after. But we find that people are good, people come to the aid of their fellow humans. We could focus on the Pennsylvania crash victims who had heard about the acts of terrorism and took matters into their own hands to prevent another such tragedy.
But we can also compare what we knew as JW's or ex-JW's with what we saw and heard. "The world is selfish," they told us. Oh, their PR people said that the WTS came to the aid of victims in NYC the same as the rest of the world, but we have also heard that they went into lockdown to protect themselves and only aided JW's and provided slight comfort to some official first-responders in their lobby. I don't even have to blink to know what the truth is about that matter.
In the United States and other places today, the world will pat those brave men and women on the back. They will honor victims and those who came to the aid of others. It is well-deserved. But the difference: JW's will be going to the Kingdom Hall and discussing outsiders as if they are enemies. They will decry how the outsiders are "patriotic" because they are part of Satan's world. They will tell stories of how they rushed to the aid of their fellow man with Watchtower magazines, about how awful the world is, while they denounce those that provided temporary relief 'in this system only' with food, water, shovels, sweat, self determination, etc. etc. but how their "preaching" work was offering permanent solutions. What a laugh.
Sept. 11th will always mean to me that WTS was wrong again. The world is not as horrible as they say. I was still very active in the JW's 10 years ago. I pioneered starting that very month for a year. It was really "Jehovah's" last chance to prove that WTS had the truth for me. I was also a new first responder at that time, having decided that I needed a decent career in "this system" after WTS declared in 1995 that the end might not be so imminent when they changed the definition of "this generation." So I suppose the weeks and months that followed Sept. 11th, 2001 were my opportunity to really compare what I was trained to believe about the world and the reality of the world.
Sept. 11th, 2001 was a very important part of my own path to freedom. I will feel good today about where I am because of the reality of the world.
Thanks for reading.