So everyone knows what today is. Everyone knows that a bunch of people died due to extremism and today everyone is going to bombarded with two things; idiotic “Never Forget,” signs, images, bumper stickers and what not as well as multiple television shows and movies attempting to retraumatize the public for cash.
And all we’re going to be told today is that we should never forget. Yeah…thanks. I needed that reminder because the image of two people holding hands as they leapt to their deaths from the higher floors of the North Tower, so as to have some human contact in their last moments on earth, was going to go away any time soon; just pop right out of my head.
You know what we shouldn’t forget?
We shouldn’t forget that there were actually three planes that crashed that day. One took out a building full of soldiers. One crashed in a field after it was retaken by the passengers. One hit two buildings full of people.
Why do so many people focus on the building full of victims rather that the building full of soldiers or a plane full of ordinary Americans who stepped up when it was necessary and made themselves heroes? I think we should never forget the other two planes that crashed.
Guess what else we shouldn’t forget?
The terrorist attack on September 11th wasn’t random. It was the result of two things; religious extremism and global politics.
Notice that I didn’t say Muslim extremism. Yes, the people who attacked the U.S. were Muslims but that is peripheral. Religious extremism isn’t exclusive to Islam as evidenced by the idiot reactions to Park 51.
As a result of the religious extremism that led to the attack on September 11th we, the United States have responded with a level of extremism that makes no logical sense and is, in fact, pathetic and sad.
Somehow, in our strong, tough response to terrorism we’ve embraced the very worst traits of those people who attacked us and shown that what we as a nation mean by strong and tough is actually acting in the most cowardly, counter-Constitutional way possible.
Never forget that in the days after September 11th people who looked like they might be Muslims were attacked and in some cases were killed.
Never forget that fear and panic are exactly the reactions that the people flying those planes on September 11th wanted.
Never forget that religious extremism is what is happening right now in the United States. Go to any right leaning website and do a search for the word Muslim. You’ll see what I mean.
Never forget that September 11th is the event that led our nation into signing away our civil rights in the form of the Patriot Act.
Never forget that September 11th is the event led directly to a war we never should have fought in which 4400 American service men and women gave their lives and countless civilians died.
Never forget that the U.S. tortured people.
Never forget that part of the reason that the U.S. was targeted was our actions. That doesn’t, in any way, justify the actions of the terrorists but it’s something that we need to cop to.
The U.S. has been meddling in the Middle East for decades and doing so with little regard for the wishes of those in the region or the sovereignty of the nations therein.
Never forget that the events of September 11th are far more nuanced and complex than any t-shirt of very special episode can possibly cover.
You want to memorialize September 11th? Remember that real patriots respect Islam. Remember pluralism, the concept that two divergent ideas can and must exist in the same nation at the same time and each be equally respected. Remember that we the people have a responsibility to the nation and the Constitution to stand up for our fellow Americans, no matter what religion or nation of origin.
Remember that. While you're at it, remember that all of the memorials that are showing on TV are happening for profit and all the memorials that are happening in the media are too.