Let’s Stop Reliving It

This weekend, expect to be deluged by a sea of violent images: the towers burning, falling, the planes impacting, and probably a series of images even more disturbing, which I won’t link to or even name. We’ll agonize over rumors, look over our shoulders, and in many respects maintain the last decade’s focus on the past, and on loss.

It’s time to put all that aside. We can’t deny that the nation  suffered that day almost ten years ago; nor the little, routinized tragedies that followed on its coat-tails. But it’s long past time to put this decade in perspective, and put it away. In many ways, we’ve let ourselves get distracted from our mission as a nation, and lost track of our priorities. Our initial, hyperpartisan reaction — the real legacy of 9/12 and the ensuing week, and one that continues still in novel forms — converted a tragedy that could’ve bound us together into one that has torn us apart.

Time to move on. The America that killed Osama Bin Laden should also be the America that killed his dream, and finally bound up the wounds we let him open. We’ve survived in form, but now it’s time to survive in substance. Put away the disaster porn and the bloody shirt, question the measures we’ve claimed were necessary for a “post-9/11” world, and substitute Tony Blair’s reminder of the vital importance of wartime multiculturalism for our own (e.g.). Make this Saturday more like Pearl Harbor Day — we were hurt, we fought back, we won, we remained ourselves. This last item, especially, will be cause to celebrate.

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6 comments

  1. I think this is a positive sentiment – however, we still have troops in Afghanistan, fighting thr same group that was responsible for the attacks. UNtil they come home (and if I was President that would be about 5 minutes after I took office) I think a lot of people are going to have trouble finding closure.

    Still, I suspect the 10-year anniversary will allow a lot of people to get some real closure on their grief.

  2. I’ve had a lot of mixed reactions to the whole 9-11 thing.

    I’ve heard two reactions from both conservatives and liberals which bother me. There’s the, I will remember those who died…and go out and kill all the muslim terrorists. Then there’s the, we’ve gone on and killed thousands in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I just want to be like, can we have one day, where we put away politics. That we go, these 3,000 people that died, that affected so many more thousands of people, in which we had brave men and women who saved people, and some who died doing so.

    And that pretty much exists outside of politics. And I’m getting annoyed at everyone trying to attach their agenda to 9-11 on 9-11. I figured we do that enough every other day of the year.

    1. This morning on Joe Scarborough’s show he made basically the same plea that you just did. The response from one commentor was that we are weaker as a country because the Right is obsessed with tax cuts and the other commenter complained that 9/11 was followed by Bush lying to the country about WMDs.

      Joe seemed pretty defeated after that. Politics marches on…

  3. I didn’t view this as a political post: to the extent that it’s partisan to advocate removing partisanship from our response to 9/11, maybe it is a little.

    1. I didn’t mean to say that you were doing that.

      Just in general, I’m fine that we are remembering the attacks on this day. I just am hesitant about how people take it.

      So, I walked in my apartment yesterday and my roommate said something like, “Oh all this 9-11 stuff, and we’ve gone on to kill so many people and start these wars”.

      And while I can understand that point in general, and I am also disappointed with some of the steps we’ve taken as a country…the people who died didn’t start those wars, they didn’t do those things we can have one day out of a year to reflect on the loss and the heroism. Yet, maybe it’s impossible to detach 9-11from these other things anymore. I can see that too. I just get depressed when suddenly I see things like, truthers and militant conservatives rant all day on 9-11.

  4. Oneiroi, what’d you think about this?

    I ask because I don’t know what I think. I want to say he’s probably right, but presented it in such an absurdly bad way as to guarantee no-one will agree with him. But I don’t know.

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