September 11, 2008

Note: This post is originally from last year, but I think it bears repeating once again. We must never forget.

911 So here we are, six years removed from the day a lot of us would probably like to forget but know we can’t and never will. After all, we live in a culture that hates reality; even when all those so-called “reality” shows on the network TV channels garner decent ratings, we’d really just prefer to come home from work, lock the doors, and forget about the trials and tribulations of our daily lives. Some of us retreat to our own private spaces within our homes, others pour a glass of wine or make themselves a couple of cocktails, others still plant themselves in front of the TV and watch sports or some kind of entertainment – anything that would make them forget about Iraq, the boss, the bills, the kids – you name it, we’re all about escapism and avoidance.

Of course, I generalize here, but with the arrival of another 9/11 anniversary comes the annual debate of how to – or whether to – memorialize and remember that day. As much as we’d all like to, we can’t help remembering the horror and tragedy that stopped us all in time and kept us glued to our televisions and radios as the drama of the day unfolded. Maybe there are those among us who’d like to forget about it: ‘what’s done is done’, they’ll say – ‘there’s no rebuilding the World Trade Center towers and retrieving the lives of all those who were lost or changed forever by the events of that day, so let’s just get on with our lives. Life is for the living.’

But I’m not one of them. And most, I think, fall into the same category.

Sure, some would like to forget the whole day happened. It’s much easier to point our anger at the mismanagement of the conflicts that have resulted (in one way or another) from that fateful day: a seemingly tone-deaf President who doesn’t know how to extricate himself and this country from an abysmally-managed war in Iraq; the seemingly-endless war that continues in Afghanistan; the arrival of yet-another supposed Osama bin Laden video; the whole Homeland Security clusterf**k that can’t decide whether our country should be on “Orange” or “Red” alert while at the same time giving the same scrutiny to grandmothers off to visit relatives and children in strollers as they do to young males of Middle Eastern descent attempting to board planes at our airports. Those things we see everyday – on the front pages of newspapers, or leading off cable newscasts, or experience for ourselves as we travel – and are easier to accept without the spectre of another 9/11 anniversary looming over us.

But deep down, we all know that we can’t and will never forget that day. We remember it, either consciously or unconsciously, every time we look up in the sky and see a plane over a city, or when we ourselves board a plane and gaze upon the passengers who already have been seated. We remember it whenever we see a movie that was filmed in New York in the ’80s or ’90s and see a skyline forever painted by the familiar structures no longer there. And we remember it everytime we hear of yet another potential terrorist threat uncovered and foiled, whether it be in New Jersey, England, Germany, and perhaps most recently in Atlanta.

We want to believe that no one could hate our nation, culture, or values so much as to create the carnage of 9/11. We think -and, in large part, rightfully, that we are a good people at heart, and can’t understand why anyone would want to overpower a flight crew and transform an airplane filled with unassuming men, women, children, and infants into a missile and crash it into a skyscraper. We find it hard to fathom how anyone could strap on a belt of high explosives and walk into a crowded pizza parlor, or a rush-hour train, or a crowded weekend marketplace and detonate themselves. But that’s only because through modern science and psychology we’ve been conditioned to believe there’s really no such thing as evil, or Satan, in the world. We want to know the rational ‘whys’ behind it. Religion? Politics? Protest? But it doesn’t really matter. The fact is, there are people out there who have been brainwashed and conditioned to the point where life itself has no sacredness or meaning, where people are nothing more than chess pieces on a large socio-economic/political gameboard. For these people, there is no sense of remorse, morality, or humanity, just hatred, and death, and innocent people to destroy.

And, make no bones about it – the vast majority of these people are Islamic fundamentalists and, more often than not, of Middle Eastern descent. And we are at war with them, and they with us. And Satan is the smiler.

So on this day, let us not forget who the real enemy is. It’s not George W. Bush, or Donald Rumsfeld, or Dick Cheney, or Condoleezza Rice. And it’s not the United States and its military. And it’s not our western culture, and our freedom, and our values. All of these any of us can criticize and take issue with; that is our freedom to do so. But we must not let party politics or petty dislikes or disagreements keep us from being vigilant and on our guard always. And that is the most important thing we need to remember this day, for those who seek to destroy us are constantly on the lookout for ways to penetrate our defenses and exploit for their own gain our inevitable false sense of security. In this case, evil – pure evil – knows no rest, and neither should we.

Another 9/11 is here, and we must never forget – most especially because those who have aligned themselves with the beasts responsible for the horrors of that day haven’t, and won’t.

May God bless the souls of all those who died that day, and may He comfort those who still mourn and remember their passing.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:43 | Comments Off on The Mark of 9/11
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