Countries in Mourning

Twenty-one years ago today, terrorism hit the United States in the biggest attack ever. That was long enough ago that some people have let memories fade, others have no memory of the attacks at all. But like other horrific incidents in history, 9/11 should not be forgotten.

image of the Twin Towers on fire on 9/11

From the website History.com, is this brief overview: “On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”

The 9/11 attacks triggered a war in Iraq and Afghanistan that went on for too many years, at the price of too many lives without accomplishing the goal. Extremist terrorists still find refuge in those countries and venture forth to continue their mission. Islamic terrorism refers to terrorist acts with religious motivations carried out by fundamentalist militant Islamists and Islamic extremists.

Just to be clear that DOES NOT mean that all Muslims are terrorists, even though most Muslims follow Islam.

Every year on the anniversary of 9/11, I listen to this song by Alan Jackson, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning. He wrote it right after the tragedies and it premiered at the CMA awards that year, two months after the attacks. If you watch the video, you can see how much of his heart went into that song, and here’s what he’s since said about writing and performing the song. “…that song was just a gift. I’ve never felt I could take credit for writing it. Looking back, I guess I just didn’t want to forget how I felt on that day and how I knew other people felt.” Read More: Alan Jackson Shares Story Behind 9/11 Anthem ‘Where Were You |

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On the other side of the world, Great Britain is deep in mourning after the passing of Queen Elizabeth last Thursday, and some of that grief pours over into other countries.

Here in The States, as the U.S.A. is often referred to, many people are also quite sad at her passing. Myself included, even though that emotion took me by surprise.

Since news of the Queen’s death broke, I decided to find out more about her, and this article from Reader’s Digest, What to Know About Queen Elizabeth II is most interesting. It has a timeline of her life and includes a discussion about the Netflix series “The Crown.” Based on true historical incidents and people, the series is billed as historical fiction, so all is not to be taken as fact.

For more fact-checking results on the series, check out this article from Parade Magazine, How Accurate is “The Crown?”

Never having been a fan of The Royals, I didn’t know much about the lives of the people like the Queen and may have been the only person in the world who didn’t follow the saga of Princess Diana when that was all over the news. I just wasn’t interested. Maybe because I was too busy with my family, or maybe just because I didn’t care.

Fast forward many years and one of my daughters suggested I start watching the Netflix series, “The Crown.” Because of my past ambivalence about all things royal, I hesitated, but my daughter assured me that I’d love it.

Daughter was right. I did enjoy the series even though some of the “character” of Elizabeth was lost in the fictional additions to the stories. What I most appreciated was seeing what a dedicated leader she was, as well as an incredibly strong woman who rarely let her integrity falter.

The Queen wasn’t perfect. Nobody is. But she was willing to evolve, to change, to adapt to new things and situations that confronted her.

More is revealed about her legacy and willingness to change in a recent podcast from The Daily; How Queen Elizabeth II Preserved the Monarchy. Alan Cowell, a contributor to The New York Times and a former Times foreign correspondent recounts the highlights of the 70 years Elizabeth wore the crown, emphasizing her grace, integrity, and humor.

I don’t agree in having a monarchy, or the colonization of other countries, but for today, I’m separating Queen Elizabeth II from all that, and just honoring a class act.

R.I.P dear lady.

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