Tuesday, September 06, 2011

So, I don't know.

Next week is the big anniversary - the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. At times, it feels really long ago...but at others it seems amazing that it happened that long ago.

I don't know what to make of the day. On one hand, I think it's important to remember that in this world, there are people who would kill every one of us Westerners if they could. That there are people who hate us because of the freedom we have. And that we need to fight against it, we need to work constantly to guard our rights.

(And yet, at the same time...we wound up with "security theater" in the airports...and I choose no longer to fly when I travel, if I can at all avoid it, because of that. And yet, it's rumored that cell phone conversations are monitored for "keywords" - even those of citizens)

The one thing I won't be doing is watching much of the commemorative coverage. I realize everyone feels differently about this, and maybe for some people it's important to remember the exact feelings they had that day (though I can call those up without watching the news footage). And maybe for people who lost someone they were close to, it's important for them to remember that person.

But I don't really have a need to watch it. And some of the coverage, I think, of natural disasters or terrorist attacks, these days, almost borders on "disaster porn" - I know if I were, say, a witness to a campus shooting, I would NOT want some reporter sticking a microphone in my face and asking me how I "felt." (I would probably give them some words they couldn't play on the network, to describe how I felt - not about the tragedy, but about some dipwad sticking a mike in my face).

I hope all the people featured on the programs are featured willingly. And if they changed their minds about wanting to be a part of it after they were filmed, that they got their faces taken out of the program.

There's talk of making it a "national day of service" like MLK day is becoming. I don't know about that, either. On the one hand, I admit I like the idea of "doing good as a response to evil things being done in the past" - of showing that we are a good and generous people. But on the other hand...exhorting people to, I don't know, go out and pick up trash, seems kind of a banal response to the magnitude of what happened that day.

There's a PSA running locally - I think it's a national spot - asking "What will you do?" I admit feeling a bit of annoyance towards that...though I think my response is, "I will live my life normally that day, because what the terrorists did did not break us as a nation." I will go to church - like I always do (and remember that in some countries, Christians can't do that, at least not openly). I will perhaps go out to lunch with the after-church lunch bunch. I will go back in the evening and teach Youth Group...sharing the love of the loving God I believe in with others.

And really, I think that's enough. Being grateful for the fact that I have freedom (especially freedom-as-an-unmarried-woman: I often think of what it would be like had I been raised under strict Islam). Being grateful that I can worship as I see fit (or not, if I see fit to do that). Being grateful that I have enough food, enough shelter, enough clothing. Being grateful that I can be reasonably secure in my person and where I go - that suicide bombings do not, as a rule, happen in the U.S.

Other than that? I don't think I ever need to see the footage of the planes flying into the Twin Towers again.

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