9-11 Redux

So last week was September 11. The 5-year anniversary of the airplane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I assume you expected me to make an address about how I am still saddened by the events five years ago, how we never forget a tragedy like that. You wanted to hear about how the events 5 years ago were a turning point in our lives, in history, and how much different America is today. I can not give that address.

The hijacking of the airplanes and the subsequent crashing of these planes was by no means desirable. I’m sure that may be an understatement. But all in all, only a total of 2,996 people died. There have been much worse tragedies since then. What did you do to remember the anniversary of the Pakistani earthquake? Or the SE Asian tsunami? How much time do you spend thinking about the ongoing bloodshed in Sudan, in Iraq, in Israel... Go through the entire list of everyone in the world who was killed yesterday and pray for each of them, and when you get through that, then you can go back and pray for someone who died five years ago.

Those who died in the World Trade Center were not heroes. They did nothing great. They did not choose to die how they did, and if given the choice, I think they would have left. So there is no need to honor them. No more than you would honor someone who got hit by a car or died of cancer.

Granted, the rescue workers who died that day could be considered heroes. But so could any rescue worker. What have you done to pay tribute to your local firefighters, policemen, people who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public? Honor them, not somebody in NYC. And do it before they die, so that they are aware of it.

For all the talk I’ve heard lately about how fresh this incident still is in everyone’s memories, let’s just admit it. As a nation, we’ve moved on. For all the talk about how much this event changed us, things now are just the same as they were on September 10, 2002. We still don’t really care what’s going on in the rest of the world. We still don’t care what people in other countries think of us. We still don’t like to be charitable, to give away something that we worked for. We still think everyone should only be responsible for themselves. And we still think that we ourselves are invulnerable.

We are still the same arrogant, selfish country that inspired a group of terrorists to fly airplanes into the WTC and the Pentagon. We did change a little for a month or so afterward. People were forced out of the bubble that had surrounded their own lives. They gave donations; they attempted to help those who had suffered. But it didn’t last. We didn’t learn anything from it.


Anonymous Eric Jenks said...

way to speak the truth!

19/9/06 09:43  

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