Ten Years and Two Days Later

Firefighters at 9/11

I am deeply moved by this photo and any image of those who responded to the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. I feel the same deep gratitude for soldiers who have gone off to fight the Global War on Terror and a tremendous loss when I hear of their casualties and difficulties after giving more than I will ever possibly give to defend my right to live in a free and prosperous society where I am only limited by what I decide I will and won’t do.

The objective of the acts of terror on 9/11/2001 was to symbolically and physically destroy the representations of power and wealth in America by smashing planes into the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon Building and the White House with the goal of undermining American economy, security and lifestyle. In the days that immediately followed, theoretically the objectives succeeded: the stock market closed for a week, the skies were empty for days, Americans were reeling from coordinated acts of hatred that resulted in enormous loss of life on American soil. But in far greater ways those intentions failed: America united. Before the end of the day on September 11, 2001 we decided that the attack of hatred against the United States would bring us together.

How is it that after ten years it 9/11 is represented as an Official Day of Mourning? I know how politically incorrect this is but someone has to say it. We are wallowing in a funeral state and have indoctrinated a generation of Americans that this is how we deal with disaster. Ten years later, almost everyone over the age of five knows exactly where they were and what they were doing at 8:46 a.m. eastern time. Ten years later we have showed those who weren’t alive how to stay in a moment of grief and loss instead of forging a life of strength, courage and initiative in the face of incredible adversity.

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About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
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10 Responses to Ten Years and Two Days Later

  1. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    Excellent post my friend! You have said it all perfectly. How long do we go on mourning? This should be looked at as a day of UNITY and SOLIDARITY….of COMPASSION and HOPE….etc. We need to get the country back to the state that we were in during the days right after the attacks. Great post Liz :)

    • sweetman says:

      Thanks Maaaaaaaahhhk, exactly, we need to focus on what we can do now to move on. I don’t ever mean to imply we have to forget, simply look up and out, not back and down.

  2. I think some of the difference is that the people that died that day had no idea. They didn’t sign up for the military, they didn’t have the thought that they could die any minute. I think people do realize that there is some happiness among the grief, but I don’t think a celebration is very appropriate either. As long as their aren’t any “9/11 sales at Macy’s”, I do agree with what you say.

    • sweetman says:

      Thank you. Agree, it was a day that no one imagined and the sacrifices of those who rescued and those who fight are enormous. It’s definitely not a day of celebration.

  3. Lacey D. says:

    I think you’re right. The question has to be not “where were you?” but “where are we now and where are we headed?”

    • sweetman says:

      Thank you Lacey. Memorializing a moment in grief is a perspective of only one direction; the greater perspective is knowing the past but creating a hopeful future.

  4. chlost says:

    Thank you so much. I have also been feeling this way. Husband and I have talked about it a lot. We need to move on. We cannot be so mired in the past. I feel as though this is being deliberately used as a way to keep our focus on an event which takes attention away from other things, or which supports an agenda of some political entities to keep the fear and hatred alive.

    Please. Let’s go on to our lives. If not, the terrorists win.

  5. My husband & I had the same conversation while looking at the newspaper on Sunday morning. He wondered why we’d commemorate our nation’s worst “defeat.” I thought about it a lot and decided that for me, it’s not about the defeat/attack/security but about the people–victims as well as police, fire, port authority, and volunteers. Great post, and personally, I like a little non-PC thought in my life. Just a little!

    • sweetman says:

      I think a lot of people were wondering why it became such a constant media presence but there is such a taboo feeling that we can’t say anything other about it. I don’t like to stir the proverbial pot just to make waves, I just feel there is far more to looking at how much was lost on 9/11 and that in order to continue to be strong we have to move forward. Honestly, who would EVER forget? Thanks for writing Nancy!

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