Monday, September 7, 2009

September 11th Looms, Again.....

Well, we are at that time of year again. The anniversary of the attacks on our country. I don't think anyone will forget where they were when they first saw the planes fly into the buildings, whether it was live or later in the day on the news. For my generation, it's sort of our, "where were you when Kennedy was shot?" moment.

For many years I thought about September 11, 2001 daily. And I mean that....every single day. In the past couple of years, it's faded a bit. Not that it's a bad thing. I'm all for remembering the past, if for nothing else, to stay aware that evil and hate can rise up when you least expect it. Our country and our way of life has many enemies and our leaders should always have that on their minds, as should we.

That being said, I think it's time that we stop using the date 9-11 as a political football. The right has ran campaigns on the back of the attacks and the fear of more attacks. The left has used our reactions (through polling) to decide which side of the fence they line up on during election time. You remember. Folks like John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards voting and talking hawkish until the political mood changed. We also had Dick Cheney and Tom Ridge amping up the rhetoric, as well as the terror alerts as elections came to a close. It's sick to use that attack and the death of thousands to keep or gain power.

It's time to let this date, 9-11, slip into oblivion a little bit. I'm not saying forget it, but I am saying we should stop letting the day be treated as a holiday. On September 11th, the talking heads will pound their fists on tables and paint anyone who doesn't support the two fronted war as unpatriotic and liberal. Others will argue that we are fighting against an enemy we can't beat. Still others will wonder why we have not brought justice to Osama Bin Laden. Well, those may be valid points at some level, but it's not helping us move forward as a society.

Our attention should turn towards changing the hearts and minds of those who are oppressive or use religion to inspire hatred against others. This change can't be done through force. We must be willing to reach a dialogue with those who disagree with us and find common ground. I'm in no way saying back down or water down our beliefs, but we need to explore what we have in common and try to further relationships built on that.

And while we are at it.....let's put the towers back up, just as tall as before. It's not a graveyard. It's not hallowed ground. When you fall, you get back up. As a nation, let's get back up, together. We should be showing strength and solidarity, not partisan bickering. Let's demand that our politicians and leaders work hard to keep us safe, and rebuild our reputation as a forgiving country that wants to promote freedom and equality for all people. Let's stop using the dead as martyrs. Let them rest in our minds and hearts. Let's reach beyond politics and rhetoric.

"...tall buildings shake, voices escape, singing sad, sad songs...."
Jesus, etc.----Wilco


  1. I like your blogs.

    This is the latest so I would like to add my 2 cents if you don't mind.

    Let me begin by saying I don't particulary care for politics to be brought into every situation, whether it be tragedy or the opposite, any uplifting or magical story of hope and human strength.
    However, I do believe that it is fair game for the individuals in power at the time to discuss and cite the attacks when making their political arguments, many which have a broader scope than that one day. When arguing policy debates with the electorate, it certainly is fair to cite the most significant event during the years in which power was held.

    I express agreement with the goal of dialogue to find common ground but too often in the past the "common ground" has only been a temporary common purpose. For example, The US and Syria in the first Gulf War fought together. That relationship was short-lived.

    I just question how much common ground can be found with the radicals that hate us. Osama bin Laden stated he wanted the USA out of the Muslim World. And frankly, I dont think its a bad idea. Why do we need 15 military bases on the coasts of Africa? (to ensure oil gets delivered) Yet, unless our country is willing to do that, close shop and come home, I doubt we find a lot of common ground with the extremists.

    I guess I'm saddened with the competency of our country as a whole these days. Our "leaders" on both sides of the aisles are not financial genius's. At the time we need a Ross Perot, we have a Barack Obama.

    And 9/11 will be remembered. Maybe in 20 years, New York can get started on the new skyscrapers. Kinda like the bridge projects here, eh?

  2. Did the bridge ever get painted?

    Nice post, Brian. I feel much the same. There's another day celebrated on an 11th as well. On November 11th, every year, Armistice Day, celebrating the murderous and catastrophic WW1. When you ever want to think of wars fought barbarously, look no further than here. Got gas?

    The Treaty was signed at 11 AM, on the 11th day of the 11th month - probably so people could remember - which I guess, come to think of it, they did not. 2 minutes at 11 AM the entire Western World observes two minutes of silence together - one of the few events shared to such an extent.

  3. I never did have an answer for Brian's "common ground" question. I think I do now. We have common ground in that we all have families, live life, and want to see the world be a better place. It's the rank and file Muslim who should be shouting down the extremism. When the bulk of Islam rises up against the fundamentalists, that's when we will see common ground. We all just want to live, raise our kids, and enjoy the world that we get to spend a short time walking around on.

  4. I'm in full agreement with Freddy.

    There are people calling for Sept. 11 to be a national holiday. That is a stretch. A big stretch.

    This may seem callous and I don't mean it that way at all. Things happen and we move on.

  5. Fran, I don't think it's callous at all. I am still angry and sad over it 9 years later. I just think it cheapens it to call it a holiday, or even consider it as such. We should honor their memories by making sure we treat each other as well as possible and try to push education and raised consciousness. Is that something that will be easy? Of course not. But a hundred mile hike starts with one footstep. Freddy