Thinking on 9/11

I've been writing a lot about 9/11 today on my other blogs. Mainly because it really is an important date, worthy of remembering. But I've been thinking about the anniversary of 9/11, and how long we will hold it in our memories. Some things that I think we should focus on regarding the anniversary of 9/11 include:

  1. The compassion and humanity that Americans showed.
  2. Feelings of national unity and pride.
  3. The impetus to “do something” to help.
  4. The hope that we had for the future.
  5. Feelings of goodwill shared with other citizens of the world.

I also feel gratitude for those (including two of my friends and Josh's cousin — heading back for tour #3) who serve this country in the military and whose families sacrifice so much on our behalf.

Unfortunately, nearly all of these things, which showed the best in America, have been largely squandered over the past few years. And for most people, September 11 is just a day like any other.

How long has the “day of infamy,” December 7, 1941, remained in our collective psyche? Most people don't even remember to “never forget.” And it appears that 9/11 is going that way as well.

Pearl Harbor and 9/11

I am struck by the differences between the response to Pearl Harbor and the response to 9/11. In both cases there was indignation and a call for action.

But in the case of Pearl Harbor, those in power used it as a reason to enter a war to stop atrocities from happening. It wasn't so much for revenge as it was the realization that even America — separated from the rest of the world by oceans — had a moral duty to stop atrocities.

9/11 has been used as a means for revenge. While a lot of potential good could have come by our intervention in Afghanistan, we left that job half done, all but abandoned the search for Osama bin Laden, and our leaders pointed us in the direction of a country that did not represent a threat and did not attack our country. And they used 9/11 as an excuse for a “pre-emptive” invasion.

Additionally, 9/11 has been used as an excuse to pass legislation (The U.S.A. Patriot Act) that restricts our freedoms and invades our privacy.

What are your feelings this anniversary of 9/11?

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