9/11

We should write some moving piece about what today, the 13th anniversary of that horrific day, means to us, and our loved ones.

But we always struggle writing about emotional events, and human interest stories.

Others have a far better talent for writing these pieces.

2974 people were killed that day. The resulting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the sacrifice of 6,830 so far, have weighed heavily upon the citizenry. Many ask if the struggle is worth it. How long must we fight? Most Americans have an odd blend of bellicosity and a desire to simply be left alone.

If you spend any time on social media today, you’ll see plenty of people swearing to Never Forget. You’ll see that contrasted by younger Americans who can’t really grasp what 9/11 is all about. For virtually their entire lives, America just happens to have been at war somewhere, with someone. That’s just how things are to them. How can they be outraged by the norm?

We don’t have any plans to commemorate the day. We’re not doing anything special. Our house is being painted. We might go to the library, maybe the store. We’ll do household chores. We’ll just go on being a normal American, doing normal American things.

We wish we could forget. Go back to that time when the Cold War was over. The End of History had arrived. There might be conflict in the world, but war, especially an American war, was a thing of the past, to be remembered in books and movies.

But we can’t. We cannot forget being transfixed by the events unfolding live on television. The pain, the fear, the anguish of not knowing why? Why us?  That oh so brief moment in the days after where so many Americans came together to comfort one another. And the utterly predictable moment when a certain segment of society leapt to the microphone, or the computer, to explain to us common folk that it was our own fault, that the sins of our nation meant we deserved this attack. That rather than the attack being an affront to civilization, it was our civilization that was the very affront that invited this attack.

As Insty quotes today, from Lee Harris:

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

We will not spend our day worrying his reasons. 

We will  instead spend our day remembering that America, for all its faults, is the shining city on a hill.

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