To burn or to jump three football fields down.
That was the choice of countless innocent fellow human beings had to make.
Today we mourn the 2,996, murdered on September 11, 2001.
Back in those days, there were no hashtags. Today, all over Twitter and Instagram, you see countless people using #neverforget.
We, none of us, should ever forget the evil of that day.
We should #neverforget the catastrophic devastation to the loved ones of the victims.
We should #neverforget the heroism of thousands, especially the first responders.
We should #neverforget how united virtually every country in the world was to find and destroy the bigoted and violent ideology of terrorist groups.
But there are some other things we should #neverforget.
We should #neverforget the 4,486 U.S. soldiers that died in Iraq.
We should #neverforget the roughly 500,000 innocent Iraqi citizens who died because of our invasion.
We should #neverforget that the war in Iraq was not against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks: Osama Bin Laden, and Al Queda.
We should #neverforget that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, the premise given to justify the war.
We should #neverforget the babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs, or those experiencing hideous cancers and leukemias, due to the depleted Uranium that used by the American military.
We should #neverforget that the war in Iraq created The Islamic State (ISIS).
We should #neverforget the rape and murder of Syrian and Kurdish and Iraqi women and children, do to ISIS.
We should #neverforget the 31,000 innocent lives — most being peace-loving Muslims — who have died at the hand of ISIS terrorist attacks, or the over 41,000 injured.
We should #neverforeget that ethnic cleansing happens, and is happening to Muslims in Myanmar.
We #shouldnever forget that the demonization of religious and racial minorities to stoke fear and hatred from the majority is nothing new, and is the precise method used by fascists like Adolph Hitler
We should #neverforget the ideology of White Supremacy, not only in far away countries but right here in the U.S.A.
We should #neverforget the genocide done to dark skinned Native American “savages” at the hands of white Puritan settlers, in the name of Christianity.
We should #neverforget the countless Africans brought here by white settlers to work as slaves, and decade after decade of their abuse and torture, merely because of the color of their skin.
We should #neverforget that millions of people of color (whether black, Mexican, Muslim, or other) are afraid today because white supremacy is gathering momentum, and is more fervent and organized than it’s been in over 50 years.
We should #neverforget that millions of white, non-Jewish, heterosexuals in 1930’s Germany believed white supremacy and anti-Semitism and homophobia were exaggerated my minorities.
We should #neverforget that the majority of them identified as “Christian.”
We should #neverforget that people of color in the U.S. are charged and arrested at a rate of 6 to 9 times that of white people.
We should #neverforget that every day, 88 Americans are killed with guns, that the gun homicide rate in the U.S. is 20 times higher than other developed nations, and that there have been more Americans killed with firearms in the first 15 years of the 21st century than there were U.S. combat deaths in all the wars of the 20th century combined.
We should #neverforget that of the 7 countries listed on President Trump’s current travel ban, no deaths on U.S soil occurred as a result of refugees.
We should #neverforget that 15 of the 19 terrorists of September 11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and the others were from the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt, and Lebanon.
We should #neverforget that neither Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt nor Lebanon are part of President Trump’s travel ban.
We should #neverforget that Islamaphobia is worse today than it was in the years after September 11, 2001.
We should #neverforget that President Richard Nixon said, “People react more to fear than to love…”
We should #neverforget that countless white nationalist, neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and alt-right websites and Twitter accounts exist and that they inform, train and recruit millions of Americans toward ways to intimidate, harm and get rid of people of color, Jews, Muslims, homosexuals.
We should #neverforget that millions of Americans, especially white, male, Christians have never personally experienced a single incident of discrimination.
We should #neverforget that today it’s the white, non-Jewish, non-Muslim, non-Hispanic, non-black who fervently believe that racism and xenophobia are not a big deal, and are being perpetrated not by the bigots, but by the media.
I want to #neverforget these evils because of the countless people I have listened to, who are scared, who have been threatened, harassed and beaten because of their minority status.
I will #neverforget the words of my mentor, Jesus Christ — when he said, “Inasmuch you have done it for the least of these, you have done it unto me.”
I will #neverforget that the example Jesus left for his followers was not that of personal safety, but the safety of the outsiders of society.
I will #neverforget September 11, 2001, those who lost loved ones.
I will #neverforget that such heinous acts are always due to the worse kind evil: bigotry.