It's the ninth anniversary of that horrible day, and, this month at least, part of me is like: All we have to show for it is rhetoric about whether we should be restricting Americans' freedom of speech and right to exercise their religious beliefs wherever they choose! I'm a bit disappointed in my fellow Americans (god, did I just write that?), because while 9/11 isn't exactly "a teaching moment," it has been in many ways. And then I listen to the hate — or rather, the fear of those that are different, which is usually the place where hate comes from — exit the mouths of the Sally Kerns of the world, who seem to have no idea what real terrorism is, and think we're no more enlightened, or awakened, than we were on Sept. 10, 2001. But I'm an optimist. I think things can, and will, improve. And while I've never been one of those "let's all join hands and sing and dance in the streets" kind of girls, I have been a "I'm really too busy to listen to you spew this sort of shit, and I'm tuning you out now." It would be wholly inappropriate to wish somebody a "Happy 9/11," because jesus, that's disgusting. But maybe a "Happy 9/12"? A "Happy From This Point Forward"?