Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.
Yesterday I took my moment of silence for all those who were killed, those families which will forever be affected, and those heroes who put themselves in harms way to help others. But today I am not going to remain silent.
The morning radio show that I listen to was taking calls all morning and discussing "Where were you?" with everyone. From what I've read about people's recollection of traumatic events (specifically the case of the J.F.K assassination) nobody remembers correctly what they were doing. My mother swears that she was in a car w/ a broken radio, but that it worked just long enough to hear that JFK had died and then it never worked again. It makes a fantastic story, but I highly doubt that it's accurate. So, as far as commemorating the day, "where were you" stories don't hold a lot of weight with me.
Before I got out of the car one of the DJs asked a caller if she felt safer now after the events of 9-11 and she said yes. Some one else commented on the "galvanizing of the American spirit" and how everyone felt so patriotic after the attacks. After stewing about it for a full day and a half I have to make some comments.
First of all I think that to consider the emotions that were running through the country after 9-11 a "galvanizing of the American spirit" is to put rose colored glasses over them. The events of 9-11 may have brought us together in grief, but it also brought most American's together in the spirit of Warmongering. The moment a finger was pointed, which was pretty early on, many Americans were calling for us to attack back. The news was filled with reactions from average citizens wondering why our leaders hadn't launched a retaliation right away. We were incenced that something of this magnitude could happen to us, to America. How dare they? was going through everyone's mind. From what I've seen 5 years later, the reverberation of 9-11 is still war. It is still the thought that more fighting and more killing will some how prove that the destruction of our symbol of materials and the death of 300,000+ Americans was wrong. Is it just me, or does it seem counter productive to try to show that spilling blood is immoral by spilling even more blood. They may have hit us first, but we'll hit them hardest seems to be a prevailing theme today.
As for feeling "safer" I wonder what sandbox that listener has her head buried in. One topic that nobody in power seems to want to address since 9-11 is Why? Why did a terrorist group feel the need to hurt us to begin with? What makes them hate us so much? I am not advocating a major over haul of our culture to appease fanatatic fundamental factions, but until we take a long hard look at ourselves and notice that it's not just fundamental countries that despise us any more, but pretty much most foreign citizenry, we are not going to get safer, we are going to get progressively un-safe.