Blind Date - Don't fetishize Sept. 11. By William Saletan


William Saletan at Slate eloquently writes what I was feeling about this weepy, groveling "moment of silence" business:

"When we fetishize anniversaries, we risk squandering their lessons. We focus on the kind of attack we suffered that day—a massive strike by a nation-state, a plane hijacking by Arabs—losing sight of different enemies and methods more likely to follow. We imagine that the problem we face began on the day we were struck, forgetting the years beforehand in which it plagued other regions. And we foster an illusion that the story is over. Sept. 11 threatens to do for terrorism what Mother's Day does for motherhood: liberate us from thinking about it 364 days a year."

No. It’s not that I am "cold" to this situation. I recognize that it is my obligation as an American to persevere, not roll over and urinate all over myself with grief. I don't need Wendell or Bush or anyone else telling me how and when to mourn. I have that covered. This "war on terrorism" is not over. The domestic war on freedom is not over. Let's not turn September 11 into a made-for-Hallmark holiday. Next year, we'll all give cards and gifts, perhaps put our 9/11 presents under our 9/11 tree.

I grieve and reflect on "nine-eleven" all the time - every day, in fact. This world, my place in it, my child's place is something I take seriously and thoughtfully. This paltry, "minute of silence" disgraces the memories of the slaughtered. And, this American flag nonsense? Where do I start? This is exactly the problem. Us against Them. It's not about America. It's about all of us; the entire world. I do not have to wear a flag pin - or, worse: put a flag on my Arab oil guzzling SUV - to be a patriot.

In fact, by not being a lemming, I exemplify America.

Your friend,