Where were you? Where were you that fateful day, September 11, 2011?
September 11, 2001 was an incredible tragedy. In no way am I downplaying such despicable acts, nor am I trying to trivialize the enormity of that fateful day. I have tremendous respect for the people who rushed to the aid of others, knowing that they were likely going to lose their lives in the process.
The attacks were horrific, but not unprecedented. Wikipedia has an article that lists nearly a hundred terrorist acts against the US, including the first World Trade Center bombing (remember that one?). The one that sticks out in my mind, however, is the Oklahoma City terrorist attack on April 19, 1995. I am, without a doubt, sure that the media covered the tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, but did you know that President Bush did not even bother attending the service? Why do we downplay the Oklahoma City bombing, but not September 11, 2001? The only argument I can think of is that the former was domestic terrorism, and the latter was an act of aggression by foreigners who were harbored by nations.
There was an article I read in ESPN the magazine that asked readers if sports “heal.” Overwhelmingly, whether people said yes or no, the response was that it brought people together and allowed them to forget, thus making sports a sort of “escapism.” I don’t know about you, but with the NFL shoving memorial services down my throat yesterday, it wasn’t very easy to forget.
I get that it is an important day, and that people want to mark its occasion. We even have an Alamo-like slogan “We will never forget.” However, does scheduling the New York Giants to play the Washington Redskins memorialize that day in any way? Does the winner get the honor of being the city most upset? I am surprised they didn’t have the Jets play the Patriots. Oh wait, the Jets played on national TV Sunday night, and the Patriots play tonight on Monday Night Football. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be some type of service.
The point I am trying to make is that we shouldn’t allow corporate bigwigs to dictate how we remember. I am not a better patriot because I sat and watched CNN all day on September 11, 2011. I am not going to let some liberal news network (who a conservative friend of mine calls the “Communist News Network”) or Fox News and their ridiculous conservative drivel tell me how to remember. Can you imagine them sitting in their offices scheming about how to best exploit the tragedy, and sending reporters out just in case any attacks went off? I can, and that is why on September 11, 2011, I spent my day away from the TV as much as possible.