9/11 Follow Up: Is It Time To Move On?
I posed the question here a few days ago: is it time to move on, six years after September 11th?
The New York Times got me thinking about it. I asked what you thought. I'm still getting replies.
"It is important to remember 9/11", a woman named Nancy wrote. "This country has a very short attention span. It is necessary for us to see the videos of this disaster so we never forget and be warned that something like 9/11 could happen again. Get over it? Tell that to people who lost loved ones. Tell that to the Taliban who is still plotting to destroy the U.S. AARGH!! I get so aggravated over selfishness and simple mindedness of so many Americans."
The same can be said about Hurricane Katrina--I've written ad nauseum about both the 'coverage fatigue' that set in about a week after the storm hit, with viewers complaining to NBC News and Brian Williams about what they deemed excessive, repetitive reporting.
9/11 is different in that we live with it's aftermath every day. We're reminded of it every time we pick up a paper, go through an airport, see Rudy Guiliani. We're in a war because of it. We're about to see a new Osama Bin Laden video, whether we want to or not. Katrina is, sadly, a national tragedy, a U-S embarrassment, but largely a New Orleans problem. September 11th, on the other hand, is now part of your DNA. You'll pass it on to your kids. And, maybe, for some of us, prolonged and protracted remembrances of that day are just too much to handle.
Then, there's this, from Marilyn: "Am I the only one sick to death of "God Bless America" being sung at every Sunday home game? I believe this started right after 9/11. I am so tired of "forced patriotism", standing through the never-ending Kate Smith version. This is baseball for heaven's sake - a game! Not to mention that I doubt everyone in the stadium really believes God blesses America - assuming there is a God and assuming s/he's partial to the good ol' USA. Enough already!" At the end, she adds, "I'm grumpy because I'm a tired old hippie."
We grieve in different ways, and for some of us, it meant patriotic displays, hitting the 'repeat' button on Lee Greenwood, and doing whatever we could to re-inforce the belief that a higher being will keep us out of harm's way, certainly, at least, on our own soil. It heightened paranoia, allowed changes in the law that civil rights activists are turning purple about, and gave us a nifty system by which we can assign a color to our collective national anxiety (I think we're still "orange", but I've admittedly lost track).
I'm not saying anyone here is right or wrong--I go with my original premise, that we're all free to do as much or as little as we want on September 11th. You're not less of an American if you aren't humming "God Bless The U-S-A" with red-rimmed eyes that morning. You're fine if you choose to sequester yourself at home, watching MSNBC's repeat of that horrible day's news coverage in a darkened room. Cope as you will
And, allow others to do the same. It is, after all, America.