Thursday, April 19, 2018
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Another 9/11

A recent editorial in the Post & Courier asked if Americans are tired of revisiting the tragedy of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the article, a Massachusetts woman says this:

“I may sound callous, but doesn’t grieving have a shelf-life? We’re very sorry and mournful that people died, but there are living people. Let’s wind it down.”

Yeah, I’d say callous is a good word.

There seems to be a fine line between wanting to come together in some kind of collective expression of grief and experience just enough unity to convince yourself (even if only for a moment) that we’re not all so different after all, and being “over” something because it puts a cramp in your otherwise-happy little life.

Once you cross that line, there is rarely any going back.

The families of the people who died six years ago today can’t go back, either. I’d quickly wager that they wish they could.

I wonder if this person also resents December 7, the original date to live in Infamy, on which the people lost in the attack at Pearl Harbor are remembered.

One day per year to commemorate what happened shouldn’t be too much to ask. There are other things to do, if you really don’t want to take part. It may require a little extra effort, but given what those who lost someone went through, that shouldn’t be so much to ask, either.


  1. Hi Patrick 🙂

    I remember 9/11 every year on my blog, and will continue to do so until someone brings Bin Laden to justice. I intend to keep asking the questions, both political and social. I think grief is a very personal thing, we all do it in our own time and our own way, so if one person has moved on, ok, but allow me to process in my own way. One of my biggest complaints is the attitude of “don’t they win” or “they win again,” they haven’t “WON” anything as far as I am concerned, except maybe an easy get away, after all, the Bin Laden task force was disbanded… so yeah… there is a victory for Al Qaeda in there somewhere. I noticed that my comment numbers drop drastically after I post anything about Bush or 9/11, oh well, I have to face myself in the mirror and ask, “Did I follow the courage of my convictions today?”

    Always, Carly

  2. I hate to sound callous, but I agree. I have no problem with remembrance once a year, in the same way that I don’t mind remembering birthdays once a year. However, the government and the media has spent the last six years ‘remembering’ 11 September on a daily basis. I cannot speak for the woman quoted, but if I made a comment like that, I would not be saying ‘the people who lost loved ones should shut up and get over it;’ I would be saying ‘the government, media, and remaining population should stop exploiting this for political purposes and focus on *what needs doing now*.’

  3. The public breast-beatings that go on around this “remembrance” are becoming more than I choose to tolerate in my life. There really is such a thing as moving on with grief. Better to build a decent memorial to the over 80,000 men, women and children who have lost their lives in Iraq since our “intervention”, including the 3,759 USA soldiers and 298 allied troops killed.

    Where’s THAT memorial?

  4. I don’t mind grieving with them, but the fact is the longer we drag this out and keep it fresh the longer it will take to heal those people.
    I remember my Dad dying when I was 8. My brother was in Nam and it took a while to find him in the jungle and then get him back. The funeral was extended for several days until they couldn’t wait anymore. My brother got in on the day of the burial was to take place. He had to go back soon after. Mom went through the funeral, everything was fine, but then she broke down, I mean she had a breakdown. People for months after kept coming by and crying with her and she just broke.
    She would not accept the fact he was gone. I can place myself in her shoes as I would be beyond devastated if something happened to Lee.
    She had to accept it and then let everyone else know that it was time to get on with life.

    The American people are holding these survivors up to a different standard than anyone else who has suffered a loss.
    I did my mourning and I am so very sorry, but life must go on or the terrorists win.

    As for the whole paying the survivors thing, I totally disagree with that!
    I don’t mind doing the donation thing for the families. But to pay out tax dollars for their loss is totally unimaginable. The government does not take care of their veterans but they will pony up my tax dollars for these people? No. Firm no on that.

  5. Afraid I must somewhat agree with Rick on this one. Although, I think I’m more bothered by the whole Virginia Tech “Massacre.” Living in Richmond, Virginia, the stories on how Virginia Tech students, faculty and parents are coping has reached almost absurd proportions. The mourning process, in this case, has gotten somewhat ridiculous. College students are not such fragile creatures; I know I wasn’t when I was in college. And there’s an uncomfortably practiced manner to the whole “mourning process” that has surrounded the Virginia Tech aftermath. They cranked out a memorial service on the campus ridiculously quick. I’m still baffled as to why the President was there and even more so that organizers bothered with priests and other clerics when they washed down the entire religious aspect to the point that it was almost a poor joke. And let us not forget the t-shirts and the ribbons (am I the only one who is amazed at how many different ways people can change the color of a strip of fabric and pin it to a shirt in that obnoxious loop). Isn’t there a point at which someone at Virginia Tech should tell the media to get the #$%$# off the campus and leave these kids and families alone? How does the insistent coverage let anyone heal when the reporters all want to get a relative or a friend of the dead to break into tears on camera (thats what these “journalists” really want when they do those interviews, because there’s certainly no other benefit to shoving a camera in the face of a person who’s lost a loved one). Then the state of Virginia had to put a committee together to place blame (because, darn, the shooter was dead… we need someone alive to the point the finger at). I do have to wonder how many taxpayer dollars were wasted for a group of people to sit down and figure out, “Jeez, I guess bad things just sometimes happen.”

    Despite my rant, I do think most of the 9/11 coverage was better handled. I think the journalists woke up with that one and realized these people (the ones who died and their surviving loved ones) deserved to be treated with some dignity. It hasn’t all been perfect, but nothing is. One day a year… yes, I think we should take a moment to remember what was lost that day. Pearl Harbor deserves the same treatment, but time will eventually win with both… reducing each to a historic event that merely eats up a paragraph in some history textbook.

  6. I tend to agree with Rick…I can and will remember 9/11 every year, but I resent it being used for political or (worse) financial gain. But to “wind it down” as the original quote goes…uh, no. I still ‘remember’ Pearl Harbor Day, and try to find a moment of silence on 11/11 at 11:11 each year.

    In other words, I think people grieve differently; I choose to grieve alone. If the people who lost family and friends need time together to remember them, they need to do that, and the rest of us be damned.

  7. I’m torn on this one, Patrick. Yes, remembering to honor and tribute can and should continue on in perpetuity. But re-living and re-grieving every year – does that let “them” win again? If it’s used for political or for advertising-ratings-dollars gain, is that right?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.