I loathe the arrival of September 11th every year. The news stations rehash footage from the attack on the towers. The newspapers reprint pictures of people jumping to their deaths rather than being burned alive. The radio is full of “where were you” stories of loss and grief.
Why do we retell the tale in such a toxic pattern?
You can honor the deaths of people, both the innocent victims of that day and the heroes who died trying to save the survivors, by remembering them the same way that we remember veterans on Veterans Day. Bow your head, give some positive thought their way, and move on.
How do the families of those lost feel every year?
Instead of privately grieving at home, they get to relive the horror of losing their loved one. Every. Single. Year. And in vivid detail. There is no reprieve, no chance to move on with life and accept their deaths.
It’s as if we feel the need to stoke the fire, to remember anger and shock enough to become blind to everything that’s changed since that day. Stoke the fire, and we won’t complain about the NSA or TSA or other ridiculous screening and “security” measures we’ve let slide. Stoke the fire, and we’ll climb right out of one war and into another without hesitation.
I’m sorry that people died a dozen years ago. Really, I am.
But I’m tired. A decade is a long time to dwell on anything. My patriotism, which was never very strong, is waning. Any desire to see people pay for the crime of mass murder has been quenched by the senseless bloodshed we’ve engaged in, from Iraq to Afghanistan (and possibly Syria, if cooler heads don’t prevail).
I’m ready for quiet contemplation and remembrance. No videos, no voice recordings, no photographs. Just a few moments in a day when I give thought to those who passed, and those they left behind. Gentle moments, where I pray that they’ve found whatever afterlife they needed and the peace that comes with it.
That, my dear readers, is why I hate 9/11.