Tragedy 9/11/01
A Gay Opinion 9/11/01
by R.A. Melos

As I sat glued to the television set, watching the events of this day unfold, and re-watching them as I channel surfed through my 85 cable channels, I felt tears well up in my eyes. I don't know if they were tears of sadness or fear, or confusion.

I watched the videotape of first one World Trade Center tower collapse, pancaking down on itself, smoke and debris rising up into the Manhattan skyline, and all I could think of was the 1970s remake of King Kong. I was in my late teens at the time, and this building was a symbol to my generation. I watched in awe as the second tower collapsed a short time later.

The events of the day have been replayed, and re-watched and will be relived for decades to come in film, literature and media, for they have touched the world with their severity. It's too early in the devastation to know what direction these events have turned us in, but the entire world underwent a change today.

This is an event which unites everyone in a common bond which transcends race, religion and sexual orientation. It is not inconceivable for everyone to pull together at a time like this, to overlook their once strongly held beliefs against one another, and only see each other as people who are hurt by tragedy. It is this bonding of human beings which is the most important thing to come from this terrible terroristic act. However, the question of whether that bonding of human spirit, and the overcoming of sexual orientation, religious, and race biases in a time of crisis will survive the aftermath, still remains to be seen.

Will the American people survive this tragedy with a new understanding of the fragility of human life, and perhaps overcome many of their prejudices toward their fellow man? Will the devastating events of this day shape the world into a more compassionate place where we are just people instead of gay, straight, black, white, men, women, Asian, American, European? Will this terrible event help the human race to overcome prejudice, or will it enhance prejudice?

I'm a gay white American male, but today I'm just a person feeling devastated by a senseless act of violence, so far reaching it has encompassed the globe.


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