Tomorrow is 9/11, Patriot Day. No politics. No partisanship. A day of remembrance.
Today, however, being 9/10 it’s worth noting that Osama Bin Laden still walks this Earth in relative freedom. It’s worth noting that, seven years later, 9/11 has become the emotional wedge used for the repression of our freedoms in the name of “security”. It’s worth noting that 9/11 has become the iron that one side uses to brand the other as cowards or traitors.
Tomorrow, we will remember those who died in and around the towers, as they deserve. Tomorrow, we should forget our politics, like we did seven years ago. But we won’t, because we can’t. The scars of that day are still very fresh in the minds of many, but only because we never stop picking at them.
Instead, tomorrow we’ll see countless editorials about the importance of various laws, programs, and policies. Tomorrow we’ll hear that, somehow, by supporting a certain political party, we’re somehow supporting terrorism. Tomorrow we’ll see opinions that don’t just border on jingoism, but relish in it. Tomorrow, instead of honoring the dead, we’ll use them to further the power of the living.
2 years ago, Keith Olberman sat in front of the hole in the ground at Ground Zero and used that backdrop to highlight the corruption of the goodwill that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center. Today, new buildings may be rising in their place, but the rhetoric and fear-mongering continues unabated. Reading or watching that comment is as relevant today as it was then.
So, tomorrow, I will not post about the election or any of the idiotic or maddening articles I will read. I will not talk about George Bush, John McCain or Barack Obama. I also will not parade myself around in a flag to prove my patriotism or allow anyone to disparage someone who dissents.
But today, I will unequivocally say that I believe, firmly believe, that this country has lost its way in the last seven years. I will not pretend that my life is more secure than it was on September 10, 2001. I will continue to wish that every soldier were home from Iraq and that no more were being deployed there. And I will continue to be angry at the way a national tragedy has been turned into a cultish denunciation of anyone who dare offer opposing opinions on how we should run one of the most powerful countries on the planet.
We, none of us, will ever forget 9/11. Some have just forgotten what it was like before.