Like many of you out there, I promised myself I wasn't gonna do it. Nope, not me. But after reading Excalibre’s thoughts on the subject, I feel obliged to add my two cents worth.
I will take some of your advice and will not follow the herd mentality in a rush to commemorate or memorialize the events that occurred one year ago. My mourning will be conducted in private and be kept simple.
I must however, respectfully disagree with the rest of your thoughts. I too live in the Midwest, although transplanted from Brooklyn NY. I’m sorry you don’t know anyone who died or that you don’t know anyone who knows anyone who died. You almost sound disappointed, like you’ve not been invited to a party or somethin’. You make it sound as if the people who were unfortunate enough to lose a loved one should carry that around like some kinda badge of honor.
You think that “two thousand and change” is not that many people. I respectfully disagree (actually one person is one too many). When you factor in family and friends, the number of people impacted goes up exponentially. Couple that with the impact the events of that day had on the economy and the subsequent loss of jobs the number becomes huge.
Sure, I’m angry at many of the same things you are, inadequate sanitation and corrupt drug companies and a host of other social injustices that inundate us on a daily basis are just the tip of the iceberg of my anger. But the simple fact is that the people who died in the Towers, at the Pentagon, and on the planes also did not deserve to die.
Listen, I read what I think was a quote taken from the master of satire Kurt Vonnegut
. In his book Hocus-Pocus, he said something to the effect that “Being an American means never having to say your sorry.” Well, I’m an American, not a flag waving, chest beating, anthem singing sort, but an American nonetheless and I am sorry. I’m sorry for many of the actions taken by our government and by some of my fellow citizens. I just can’t rationalize it against the slaughter of close to three thousand people. I’m not crying for revenge or anything but let me say it again, those people did not deserve
to die and therefore are entitled to some type of sympathy. Any caring individual should be able to see that..
You ask if you should mourn for the fallen. Well, the floods, earthquakes and maybe to some extent famines that you mention in your w/u are natural occurrences. Hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings is not. Yes, as you state, the world is a pretty barbaric place but I think by not letting tragic events have some type of effect on you, you just contribute to the callousness that pervades both our society and the world in general. And yes, in my humble opinion, you should mourn for the fallen.
You almost sound sad that you weren’t affected (at least directly) by the events of that day. I wish I wasn’t affected either. As a matter a fact, I wish we all weren’t affected. I recently got a note from my former high school advising me that an eternal flame was going to be lit in honor of twenty three of my former class mates who didn’t get to make it home that day. Even though I had lost contact with all of them, it still affected me. Sorry.
Now that I've got that off my chest, let me close with the following. Good thoughts go out to all friends, past, present and future.