Do You Really Need To Read Another Column About 9/11 Today?
So, what should I talk about today? The NFL season is starting. That’d probably make for a pretty interesting and timely piece. Or, how about something on President Obama‘s speech about jobs the other night? People seem to be talking about that a lot this weekend and wondering how the country’s economy is going to recover. Oh, the economy. That’s a good one, too. Everyone is talking about the economy. I bet you’d like to read something about it, wouldn’t you?
I’m kidding, of course. Which is something that I feel a little uncomfortable doing today (okay, really uncomfortable) but there’s a point I want to make here. Assuming you didn’t accidentally click on this link, you’ve already seen the title to this piece and you already know what it’s about: 9/11. That’s right. Another 9/11 piece that talks about 9/11 again and repeats the same ten things that you already know about a day that wish you could forget. They’re everywhere after all, right?
Over the course of the last few days, I’ve read my fair share. I read one about the astronaut who watched the aftermath of 9/11 from outer space, which was pretty good. I read another one about New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, whose son was trapped in one of the Twin Towers during 9/11, which was really good, too. I even read one about this guy who literally wore the soles out of his dress shoes after he spent the days after 9/11 walking around Manhattan and looking at the city and how it was being affected by all the chaos. But really, it’s hard to go wrong with a 9/11 story. Just about every American has a story about where they were when they heard about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, where they watched the news coverage of 9/11, and what they did in the days following the tragic event.
Which is exactly why I want to avoid doing a piece that simply recants what went down on 9/11 and drudges up some painful memory of it. Instead, I want to point out how far we’ve come as a nation in spite of all that tragedy. Ten years ago, the people who died on 9/11 were victims. They were killed at the hands of evil terrorists who wanted to kill America’s spirits. Ten years later, they’re heroes. Because of them, we take every terrorist threat seriously. We’re no longer naive to the fact that there are people out there who want to hurt us. We have looked tragedy in the face and persevered. And we should celebrate that everyday.
I’m all for celebrating the tenth anniversary of 9/11, but the truth is that I feel the same way about it today as I felt last year and the year before that and the year before that. I understand why people want to honor the tenth anniversary of the date, but shouldn’t we be honoring the victims of September 11 every day of the year? And, in a way, aren’t we doing that every time we report a suspicious bag in an airport or tell a train conductor about suspicious activity on the platform? Aren’t we honoring 9/11 every time we sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a big game and applaud extra hard after it’s finished? Aren’t we continuing to rebuild the Twin Towers and putting in effort everyday to make America a safer place?
Like I said, I’m all for taking a moment of silence on 9/11 this year to remember those who died ten years ago. But I think we’ve done a great job as a nation learning from 9/11 and keeping it in mind every day of every week of every month of every year since it happened. I think we’ve worked tirelessly to honor those killed in the 9/11 attacks, as well as the U.S. troops who’ve done their part to keep this great nation free. I think we’ve responded well to an event that could have ripped this nation apart—and I think that we will continue to move forward without ever forgetting what happened on that fateful day.
And I don’t really think you need to read another column about 9/11 to understand that.