Monday, September 11, 2006

Never forget?

The 5th anniversary of 9/11 has arrived with moderate fanfare. We do well to observe the sadness and tragedy of that day. We were attacked, people died, and a nation was aroused. 9/11 served to show our resolve, our fortitude in the face of tragedy. As cliche as it sounds, it was absolutely true. At the time. Sorta.

If 9/11/01 showed our strength as a nations, 9/11/06 shows us how shamefully fickle and dull we are as a nation. Most of America hates our president for having the balls to actually solve a terrorism problem he inherited from a lecherous putz who used flash-polls to ascertain whether he should a "strong leader" or a "peacemaker" after every attack. We are now more concerned with whether terrorists can check out library books than whether, say, the Sears Tower comes crashing to the ground.

An entire political party has used our effort as a bludgeon against our leader, in the hopes of gaining political power, so that they can... What, exactly? Does anyone know what the Democrats want to do when they are put in power? America is poised to hand over the keys to a group of politicians who have articulated no plan to engage our nation's most daunting task.

The biggest news story of the whole anniversary has been former President Clinton's insistence that ABC edit their little docudrama in such a way that will absolve him and his staff of political divas from any culpability. That's it? That's his response, five years after we were attacked? Get hissy at ABC? No apology? No remorse for the event? Does that arrogant son of a bitch even give a damn? Does anyone not know the answer to that question?

Five years later, the public nods and smiles. Fully 36% of those surveyed in a recent Scripps-Howard poll believe that the Bush administration had a hand in the 9/11 attacks. I wonder how they would respond to a question that asked whether the attacks were in response to Bush's war on terror? You can blame Bush for anything, yes? Why let temporal constraints get in the way of trendy hatred?

There are valid criticisms of the way the president has conducted the war on terror, and the average American understands none of them. The average American just wants the problem to go away. For the eight years that preceded 9/11, we had a president who ascended to power by being the guy who could make problems seem to disappear.

Then two towers collapsed, and we were left with a problem that couldn't disappear. It hasn't disappeared, and it won't unless we decide to make it happen.

It was said that the 9/11 attacks tested our resolve. Resolve is not an immediate reaction. It is not supporting a war effort for awhile, then getting sick of it, and wondering when it's going to be over so you can stop hearing news about it. Resolve doesn't succomb to boredom and ennui.

Never forgetting doesn't mean remembering that you at your work when you first heard the news, or that you had Cheeto-dust on your fingers, or that you had such-and-such a friend who lived in New York, and the had to call you to assure you they were alright, or that you flew out of city x just two days before the attacks and there but for the grace of God blah, blah, blah.

Never forgetting means acknowledging the emotional and spiritual changes that occurred. It means remembering that freedom isn't some sort of birthright. If you're not doing that, then you have, indeed, forgotten.


Anonymous Matt Terry said...

Right on, Kev...

oh, and sorry about America Idol...maybe "C'mon Eileen" wasn't the best choice

10:58 AM  
Blogger Chris Hill said...

Beautifully stated. Never forgetting also means having the resolve to seek out justice and fight the war that has been brought to us. You may disagree with the tactics or some of the strategy, but that doesn't mean you must give up on the entire war. We're at war, whether we like it or not. To give up on this war is to forget 9/11.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Chris Hill said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous b-nut said...

to give up on this war is not to forget 9-11; it is to redefine it.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

To give up on this war is to redefine 9/11 as "acceptable".

4:31 PM  
Blogger Chris Hill said...

So true.

9:53 PM  

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