Out of My Mind 39

In the Grange exhibit hall at the Okanogan County Fair was a display espousing our country's founding on Freedom of Religion. The exhibit serves as a reminder that the United States has a long tradition of opening its arms to peace-loving people of all re

In the Grange exhibit hall at the Okanogan County Fair was a display espousing our country’s founding on Freedom of Religion. The exhibit serves as a reminder that the United States has a long tradition of opening its arms to peace-loving people of all re

Since 9-11 everything has changed

September11, 2001 affected us all to one extent or another – whether you were a nativeNew Yorker, working in Washington, DC or living in rural Okanogan County.

Since theterrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon everything haschanged. Most Americans didn’t personally know someone that died in theterrorists’ attacks – they just knew a radical faction of people had murderedtheir fellow countrymen and others in a senseless act. They learned theseterrorists hated us enough to fly commercial jetliners into the Twin Towers andthe Pentagon to indiscriminately blow up people from the many countries andfaiths working there.

Since9-11 many families right here in our little corner of the world, far removedfrom New York and the nation’s capital, have watched their husbands, wives,fathers, mothers, sons or daughters go off to fight in two wars in countriesthat are even farther away. Perhaps for those whose family and friends weresent to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq this is how the aftereffects of theterrorism attack affects us most.

Our liveshave changed in ways both big and small – many of our freedoms since 9-11 havebeen stretched out of shape in the name of fighting terrorism. The government’sability to spy on its own citizens has certainly been one change that manypeople have been willing to swallow because of the fear of another potentialterrorist attack.

For some,unfortunately, the tolerance for people of other faiths was lost. Upright, goodAmerican citizens of the Muslim faith were also victims of the terrorismattacks. It makes me wonder if the exhibit I saw at the fair among the otherGrange exhibits rings true. It was titled “Our Country was founded on Freedomof Religion.” Let’s hope so. 

With ourproximity to the Canadian border Homeland Security feels like one of ourbiggest growth industries. There seems to be a never-ending influx of newCustoms, Immigration and Border Patrol personnel arriving on a daily basis.Many are moving here with their families and their kids attend our schools.They buy homes, shop in the stores and with time become a part of thecommunity.

Crossingthe border to visit our neighbors in Canada, once something that was done withlittle forethought, now takes planning. Did you bring your passport? Is itreally worth waiting in line just to grab a quick lunch? These things seemminor to what happened 10 years ago, but who could have imaged the far-reachingaftereffects 9-11 would bring?

With all the television coverage of the anniversary of theattack, the replaying of that day’s news coverage by all the 24-hour newsstations, it’s hard to believe we haven’t seen every aspect of what took place.However there are still perhaps thousands of untold stories out there. One thatyou may not have seen can be found on youtube.com, search: BOATLIFT An UntoldTale of 9/11.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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