Thursday, September 11, 2003
::: September 11 :::
Spinning Sept. 11 Into a Useful Political Ploy
It amazes me how shallow the scar tissue protecting me from
the vast well of emotional shock and sadness really is. With
a few mere images, backed by hearfelt, well performed ballads,
my eyes burn again with tears.
The sorrow is just below the surface and I wonder how long
that will be true. Perhaps is will be ever so.
Yet .... this is true as well
It's two years since we counted planes — one, two, three, four — as they crashed into one tower and then another, and then the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania soil. Two years since we stopped in our daily tracks, gasps replacing the ordinary hum of a back-to-school morning, shock trumping every other emotion except horror. And fear.
Of course, everything did not change. Eventually, we used up the duct tape, put away the gas masks and ate the emergency supply of granola bars. But we retained that muscle memory of the world as a dangerous place in which we are high-risk patients.
The day, with its emotional scars and lessons, is being manipulated, handcuffed to the "war on terrorism." Nearly every battle, every action, every foreign policy, every call to follow the leader, is justified — no, sanctified — in the name of Sept. 11.
Did you read the story about a young Florida woman who was determined to sew a quilt for the family of every American soldier who died in the Iraq War? As the death toll rose to over 300, she remained committed to her kindness and to the war. "We have to stay there as long as it takes and take care of it once and for all," she explained. "No one wants another Sept. 11."
When does the small, repeated exploitation of this belief become the big lie? What do we make of a patriotism of fear?