A Fitting Commemoration for September 11
by Meteor Blades
Sat Sep 11th, 2004 at 06:47:30 GMT
I know that September 11th is supposed to be a sacred American day, “our” day to mourn the innocent victims–the 3000 dead and thousands of maimed and permanently traumatized–the day on which everything supposedly changed.
At the risk of being once again called unpatriotic, however, let me suggest that we turn this date into something more than an all-American day of remembrance. For one thing, Americans weren’t the only people who died in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania three years ago. Moreover, another September 11 lives in infamy because of the terrorists who toppled the Chilean government three decades ago and proceeded to kill an estimated 3000 of their countrymen.
I’d like to see September 11th transformed into a day of mourning for victims of terrorists everywhere, whether they live in Northern Ireland or Darfur, Cambodia or Israel, Indonesia or Guatemala, Oklahoma City or Madrid, Beslan or Kuta.
Some people, I suspect, may think I seek to downplay the loss that we–both as a nation and as individuals close to the victims–suffered on that dark day. To dilute the memories of our grief and rage and despair. No way. I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news. I’ll never erase the memory of watching people leap from the flames to certain death on the streets of Lower Manhattan. I’ll never forget the two days I waited a coast away, wondering if a woman I knew had escaped the killers aboard Flight 175. (She did.)
Appalling and spectacular and searing as those events three years ago were, however, we do a disservice to ourselves to pretend that America suffered uniquely from the machinations of terrorists. What better commemoration than henceforth to remember ALL of terrorism’s victims, planetwide, on September 11?
And what better way to set an example–a standard for those in the world our leaders so often lecture about civilized behavior–than to pledge, as I suggested earlier today, never again to overtly or covertly authorize, order, support, promote, fund, train or wink at terrorists whatever their cause, excuse, justification, rationalization, religion, ideology or helpfulness to real or alleged U.S. interests?
For the United States to renounce terrorism as well as denounce it would take the world that much closer to the day when terrorists are the least of everyone’s concerns.