What is remembrance for?

I am just catching up with some of the news this week. Barkley Rosser at Econospeak had a timely post on 9/11 ceremonies and reminds us about what we accept as special or inevitably normal:

Things More Worthy Of Remembrance Than 9/11

Yes, what happened 11 years ago today was awful and tragic, and there is much that can be said about and it is worthy of remembrance.  However, it seems to me that it is being way overdone.  Osama bin Laden is dead, but we are allowing both political parties to continue to use this event to justfiy an everincreasing national security and surveillance state that is taking away our liberties. 

Numerous other nations have had more die than we did from terrorism on 9/11, but managed to keep some perspective and treat the matter as one of policing rather than national hysteria, which was already manipulated once to get us into the utterly stupid war in Iraq.  Even though the Bush admin officially admitted that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, Cheney kept on claiming that he did, and 64% of those voting for Bush 8 years ago believed that he did.

Here are some things more worthy of remembrance than 9/11, but which will not get even remotely as much attention:

1)  Monday, Sept. 17 will be the 225th anniversary of the adoption of the US constitution.
2) That same day will also be the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in US history, with over 23,000 dead on its battlefield, which inspired President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed (most of) US slaves.  Needless to say, that is a lot more dead than on 9/11 and with a much more worthy and important outcome.
Then in terms of sheer numbers of pointless dead, with us arguably being possibly able to do something about them, if not all that likely:
3) Between 2000 and 2009, 298,000 Americans died of gunshot wounds.  Many of those were suicides, others were homicides, others were family accidents.  We have half the world’s guns and are far ahead of any other country on this matter (with some competition from a few with war happening on their soil).
4)  During the same period, 417,000 Americans died in automobile accidents.

So, let us remember 9/11, but let us keep it in perspective compared to more important things, and let us not allow it to be used for evil purposes.

(re-posted with permission from the author)