Thoughts on September the 11th

Disclaimer #1: I mean no disrespect to the fallen or their families. Really. I don’t.

Disclaimer #2: I realize that some of what I say might seem like naive over-simplification. The important thing here is to present a different viewpoint, and to point out a possible pitfall. Please take everything I say with a grain of salt, and remember that exceptions are implicit in most of my statements.

Disclaimers out of the way, now we can begin. September 11th, 2001… they say everyone can remember what they were doing that day. I do–my dad was on a business trip, traveling by air, and I was watching the TV and dreading what might’ve happened to him. Everyone knows what happened on 9/11. It is hailed as one of the greatest tragedies of our time. It was a shock, a wake-up call to the dangers of terrorism, and it began a new era. It’s something that should never be forgotten….

Isn’t it?

9/11 is not allowed to be forgotten. Every year, people all over the country take up the same cry: “remember 9/11!” To go against this is traitorous and un-American. It is disrespectful to the dead. There is no other option but to remember.

This is unhealthy. The remembrance of 9/11 is a grudge. We do not memorialize the countless innocents slain in the war that our country has perpetrated, if not begun. It’s always “remember 9/11! Don’t ever forget what they did to us!” If ever anyone should doubt the justice of our country’s war, all that has to be said is “remember 9/11.” It is used by some as an excuse for warmongering. The government has used it as an excuse to seize more power. The military has used it to take even more of our country’s assets for itself. This tragedy is being used for corrupt gain, as an excuse for violence. The grief resulting from it has been twisted into hatred, has become a festering sore at the heart of America.

Everyone knows that to recover from an emotional injury, one must let go of one’s pain. Why, then, has America not let go of the tragedy of 9/11? Why, even now, is it still trumpeted about the land as if it happened yesterday? It is time to move on. Not to forget the people who have fallen–but to forget the grudge. It is time to reach out to our enemies with love and forgiveness rather than hate and violence. Many will say that they would use a change in America’s attitude to exploit us–that “love and forgiveness” would just bring greater tragedy. But when has love ever hurt? I don’t advocate our country’s lowering its guard, because that would be idiocy. I do advocate a gentler approach. Avoiding the killing. Doing everything possible to heal rather than to cripple.

So I will say this: let’s move on from 9/11. Put the past behind us. Stop holding a grudge. And most especially, stop using a terrible tragedy as an excuse for war, hatred, and corrupt gains of power! Do people realize that 9/11 started the War on Terror that has so changed the face of our country? Do they realize that, as a result of 9/11, our country has returned to Teddy Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” policies, and is now acting unjustly as the police of the world? Do they realize it is just one small step from here to a slave state justified by the fear of terror? One small step from here… to the American Empire? And we all know how hard empires fall.

I don’t say all this to condemn those who are genuinely grieving for the people who died. By all means, mourn. But don’t brood. Remember the fallen, and then move on with your life, because prolonged mourning is one of the most unhealthy things in the world. Remember that death is only a gateway to the next path in life. Remember 9/11… and let it go before it can do any more harm.

~ Jared


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