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A Letter to The World, 11 Sept 2011

Dear People of the World,

We are Americans.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and you may be feeling a bit annoyed at the staggering amount of news coverage and online status updates devoted to those moments when we found ourselves a target of vile hatred.

We see your news coverage. We hear your voices. We know that you think Americans can be spoiled, greedy and irresponsible. We know it can look like we don’t care about the rest of the world’s problems, like we don’t mind the wrong moves governments may make in their quests to protect their people and way of life.

It’s easy to assume this about us. But the easy way isn’t always the right way.

We are just like you. We get up early and we go to work. We come home after a long day and feed our families. We do chores, keep up with the kids’ homework, try to relax, go to bed. We do this, day in and day out, and we consider ourselves lucky. There are many people who don’t have the privilege of being exhausted after a full day’s work, nor a home to come back to. We thank God daily. Sometimes hourly. Sometimes by the minute.

We know that you have lived with terrorist threats and war on your home soil for generations, that in your country there is still violence like none we have seen recently in the United States. We remember you today, too. Every September 11th, we remind ourselves what it feels like to be a target, what it feels like, individually and a nation, to live in danger. We are not equating our suffering to yours; we want to end suffering.

We are asking you on this day, in any way you are able, to celebrate peace with us. The mothers, the fathers, the sons and daughters, the families that make up what you call America, want to see the end of terrorism. We wish safety for the world’s children, not for just our own.

We are individuals with families, just like you. We are also a proud nation. We don’t only mourn for ourselves on this day, we mourn for the world.

On September 11th, we are all Americans.

With Love,

The People of the United States of America