There are undoubtedly a lot of 9/11 posts out there today, some deeply emotional, some cavalier, even dismissive. Some perhaps actively cynical. And then there are the Truthers.
I believe that this date will always be a significant one in the hearts and minds of those who lived through those hours of disbelief and horror. I belief that we should never forget those who died, or those who did the killing. I agree with Jeff that we shouldn’t become mired in that one day, or allow it to continue to define us, or we risk becoming as ideologically myopic as those against whom we fight. But I also agree with those who, even six years later, cannot quite bring themselves to see September 11th as just another day.
These are all rational, human responses. And then there are the Truthers.
I just don’t understand these people. Ace has a collection of videos from that day, showing the strike on the second tower. I don’t see how you can watch a full-sized airliner, plow full-speed into the middle of the building, see the giant gaping hole in the side, or how it burned for nearly an hour, and suggest that it took anything more than that to cause massive structural failure. To suggest that, not only did our government plan and condone the attacks, but wired the towers to blow as a backup to the plane strikes. Or that someone fired a cruise missile at the Pentagon.
Or that the hundreds of passengers on those planes didn’t really die, and are in some witness protection programs somewhere. Or, even worse, that the passengers DID die, just not on the planes…if you know what I mean.
So, I guess my suggestion for rememberance on this day is to remember who the enemy is. No, sorry to say, the enemy is not George Bush. Or Ted Kennedy. Or Nancy Pelosi or Dick Cheney.
The enemy is those who would seek to destroy this country, who want to kill its citizens, and force it to conform to their way of life by violence and coercion.
The Truthers want you to believe that “The Administration” is every bit as much to blame as Al Qeada. Perhaps more so. I say these people need help. And they distract from the real issue.
As a nation we became complacent. We became conceited. We saw ourselves as untouchable. And we were proven wrong. Let’s not forget that.
But more importantly, let’s not forget that with great power, comes great responsibility, to both the world, and to our citizenry. Our position of leadership and strength is a stewardship, one which we must wield with the greatest of discernment, courage, and equanimity.
We did not “deserve” 9/11, as some would suggest. No more that we deserved to have the barracks in Beruit bombed, or the Cole attacked. The radical muslims do not hate us for what we are, but for what we aren’t. We aren’t them. We don’t want to BE them. And so, we are the enemy.
So while this sober stewardship we hold should lead us to consider the ramifications and impacts of our actions, so also does it place a burden on our leaders to ensure the welfare and common defense of this nation. We cannot allow a misguided sense of cultural or racial guilt to place us in a position of vulnerability. Caution and considered action should not translate into squeamishness or cowardice. 9/11 was not a righteous judgement, but a wake up call to the costs of appeasement and capitulation.
We do not have to be brutal, but we must remain strong. We can remain compassionate, without becoming soft. We must remain vigilant, without becoming paranoid. We must remain morally certain, without becoming imperious.
I would suggest, as well, that it would be deeply to our credit to refuse to give wackos like the Truthers the time of day. Instead of thoughtful consideration or shrugging indifference, we need to laugh these wierdos off the stage. These people are a cult, and should be treated as such. They are not speaking the truth to power….they are waiting for the mothership to come in the tail of the next comet and beam them up.
Never forget….but remember the truth.