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)
Pretty callous to tell people that what they are concerned about is not worthy of remembrance.
I went to school in Oklahoma City in the years after the Murrah Federal Building bombing and I never felt the way about it people there did.
I agree that politicians are dicks, but telling someone that the occasion where their loved ones died is not as worthy of remembrance as a battle that happened before the lifetimes of their great grandparents is something I have to call bullshit on.
Nowhere did the author say 9/11 was unworthy of remembrance… he said the opposite, that it was…what he was objecting to was the callous use people were making of it and he pointed out that there were other events that could be seen as more horrific that were ignored… he points out that some use the enormous attention paid to this to push their agenda of less civil liberties
Yeah, I am with the author and anonymous. I see the merit in remebering the event to honor the dead and provide some small comfort to their family memebers, but that is not what the rememberance is used for. Instead it is used to rile up hatred for muslims and justify the expenditure of billions on security and the constant stripping away of our constitutional rights.
Maybe I am misinterpreting the gigantic headline font text that says “Things More Worthy Of Remembrance Than 9/11.”
I don’t think I am.
Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?
“$100 million much more money than $10 million.”
So you claim that I’m saying that $10 million isn’t much money.
While I sympathize with a heartfelt objection, I think that there are other considerations involved at a more general level, which is what this post is about…it has to do with how public the grieving is, and how symbolic it has become. Families can also grieve in private just as well, and as sincerely…there is a choice.