I've never been big on birthdays. They just aren't all that important to me. I grew up never celebrating them because of my mother's faith and now as an adult it's just another day to me. I get up, get dressed, do the dishes and take out the trash like every other day of the year. I have thought about making a big deal in the past, but I never really saw the point. My birthday isn't really any more special to me than any other day. In general I love my life. I love my husband and my kids, I'm building my own business and working hard to keep my house clean. Maybe it's not the life I dream of, but in general I don't see any real reason not to enjoy every day. So my birthday isn't special. Now don't get me wrong, I love an excuse to eat cake and add another year to my age, but to be honest, I was telling people I'm "in my 30's" since I was 22. So the fact that I'm now officially 31, is kinda exciting to me.
All that said, and my own reaction to my birthday aside, it saddened me to hear someone who did celebrate their day and enjoy it, that they weren't comfortable doing it any longer. What a better day to celebrate you and your life than your birthday?
September 11 was a horrifying day for millions of Americans. No doubt! But if a multitude of death related to a specific day is enough reason not to celebrate, doesn't every day have BILLIONS and BILLIONS of deaths associated with it? I mean it. On average, 156,000 people die every day! I'm 31 years old, so in my lifetime alone, 4,836,000 people have died on my birthday. And that's if we only take the 31 years I've been alive into account. If we start talking about all of history, the count is simply innumerable. Now, granted, not all of those people die in national tragedies. But it's unquestionable that a minimum of 5% of those were victims of homicide in one way or another, and of course that doesn't add in all the accidents and other tragic deaths. So lets see, 5% of 4,836,000 is 241,800. I can't even fathom that amount of people. But that is the (approximate) amount of people who have been murdered on August 17th (my birthday) since 1983. Do the math for your own birthday (if you're not 31, if you are the math is the same as mine) and see just how many lives the world has lost on your birthday since you've been here. And ask yourself this, are the 3000 deaths lost on 9/11 any more tragic than all those others? Or are they just better publicized? In my way of thinking, murder is murder. I don't care if it comes at the end of a knife, from a bullet or in a terror attack, a life was ended because of someone else's evil.
So, in my opinion, NO, all those other deaths are NOT any less important that those lost on 9/11! They may be less well known. They may not be remembered by a nation, but they are no less tragic. Yet if we don't allow them to stop us from celebrating our births, marriages, children and so many other things. So why should 9/11?
I am in NO WAY attempting to discount the horror or pain from the Sept. 11 Terror Attacks! But I am simply trying to say that on any given day you can assume there are THOUSANDS of people being murdered, and that's in this country alone. Nearly 3000 people were killed in the attacks that day, and I still get emotional about the subject! At the time my fiance's father worked for Air Traffic and was locked down for fear of an attack on Pittsburgh due to Flight 93.It was without question a terrifying day. (Finding pics for this post in all honesty made me sick - STILL - 13 years later)
All of that terror however, doesn't - or shouldn't - for a second change that for millions of people who's birthday falls on September 11, there isn't cause to celebrate. Yes, you were born on a day which became a tragedy for our nation. But you are still here! You survived! And THAT is something to celebrate!
It's not just that though, it's the fact that the attacks were meant to change our way of life here. They were meant to anger, depress, and cripple us as individuals. If we allow them to stop us from doing exactly what it is that we would normally be doing on this day, instead focusing on them, they've done just that. They've won! They've altered our path. They've forever scarred our souls.
I say, don't let them win. Celebrate your day! And enjoy it. Yes, it's a "national day of remembrance" but not a single person who died that day would have wanted you to forgo happiness just to remember them! And it's important to remember, that your birthday isn't JUST your birthday, it's the day you survived, it's the day an entire country survived... That's something work cutting a cake over!
So go ahead... Blow out some candles, have a slice of cake - hell, have two, and open a few gifts from friends. Today is YOUR DAY TOO! Celebrate, have some fun and love that you are here and healthy!
Make A Wish!