It’s hard for me to wrap my mind completely around September 11th memorial celebrations. I didn’t have anyone that perished in the towers or on the planes. I don’t even know anyone that knows someone that did lose someone. That being said, I just want to say I think these times have been used this year mostly for political reasons. The build up to the memorial celebrations have seen a month of anti Islamic sentiment seen all over our country. This too, I see as political. This November the Republicans are expected to take control of Congress.
The reason for all of this is not exactly clear. They certainly aren’t being “rewarded” for their competency as they have done nothing the past two years. We could say Democrats may lose for their lack of competency as well as they have managed to spend a lot of time on everything but the most important issue, jobs and the economy. One thing is clear about both of these parties. They both use September 11th as a time when they can declare their love of country and determination to one again feel the pain of every American and attempt to draw us all back into a time of “unity”.
However, there is no unity for the unemployed or those first responders suffering without complete benefits and recognition for giving their “best” to their country. Politicians grab the spotlight and shine it on themselves in an attempt to garner votes and goodwill for largely their own purposes. Behind the scenes are innocent Americans waiting for their unemployment check, a job or hoping their cancer treatments will work and if not, their country will step up and secure their family’s future.
I have to admit September 11th is still a mystery to me. I remember when it happened. I was in my classroom with my middle school students. Our school principal got on the loud speaker and wanted us all to turn on our television sets. Everything I witnessed at that time seemed very surreal, like it really wasn’t happening. I think we all were in a state of shock. I remember they announced that as many as 50,000 people may have died. Over the course of the years since that time the amount of people that died has been stated to be around 4000, then 3000, and today on CNN as 2752. The reason I mention the number is that it was used to really prepare us for war. The higher the number, the angrier we became about being “attacked”. Imagine my surprise today at the “new” number I heard. I acknowledge the fact that if you lost someone, the number doesn’t matter.
What’s troubling me about September 11th now is the way that it is being politically put into our psyches as the day of remembrance for all time. It’s hard to know what to make of all this. On one side are the conspiracy theory people that think the buildings were imploded and the government played a part in allowing this to happen. On the other side sits the government and their version that does seem to change as time becomes history. This is evidenced by the continually changing numbers of victims but also by the continual mind manipulation of the American people.
As a youngster I remember the assassination of President Kennedy. For me that was a frightening memory that stayed with me for years. However, we, as a people, were not continually indoctrinated with memorials and tributes that I can recall. Today with September 11th, I feel that much of the memorial presentations are used through the media to keep us under control. They serve as a reminder of hatred and who we should continue to hate so we will continue to wage war, even if it is really an “undeclared” war.
Yes, I know the government has labeled it “THE WAR ON TERRORISM”. However, we have not declared war, so this “war” can go on forever and have no “end”. We can fight this thing called terrorism and call it a war and keep everyone scared and frightened for as long as the government chooses to do so. That is kind of scary as we continue to follow rules like sheep that are herded to and fro without questioning any kind of authority. Ever so often the government has to step in and remind us what we are fighting for because we are a people with a limited attention span. We aren’t in the middle of the fight, so we tend to forget about Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s real for the soldiers, their families and the people from both of those countries but for most of us, it does not affect us on a daily basis. President Bush said we’re fighting them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here. Everyone likes that sentiment because no one wants to fight “them” in their backyard.
This past month with all of the crazy anti Islamic sentiment, one thing has been made clear to me. There are many people in this country that really think the Muslims are going to take over the United States of America and declare “Sharia” law. When I look up what Sharia law is, I find all kinds of varying information. I know the people who think the Muslims are taking over the United States have a distinct version of Sharia law that includes anti women and children sentiment. I know this is why my two brothers think we are in a “Holy War”, a war based on Christians and Muslims. It seems to me that there is a “right wing” faction that is currently manipulating people through the media to keep their base in a “state of hate” to insure getting that base out to vote. What they’re voting for is beyond comprehension, returning to power the very Republicans that took us to the brink of disaster with our economy and war. What is more troubling is the breeding and spreading of this hatred. We have all heard about the possible book burning that ended up not happening. This man was nobody, but he was elevated by constant media attention. On the left people were proclaiming him as being “crazy”. However, the right wing base now knows what they have to do. They have to get out and vote. Vote for the right wingers, the Tea Party people, anyone that fits into the mold that they have carved out as being “right” on the issues.
I’m scared for our country. September 11th with its self proclaimed “unity” has divided our country completely. On one side are people like my brothers and on the other side are people that think “they” are crazy. In between all of this sits the clueless masses that don’t think politics affects them. They go on with their every day lives doing what they do on a daily basis without any thought given to all of this. They continue to board planes like sheep. They will stop and let the police search their cars for no reason. They do their jobs and pay their taxes and hope that’s enough for serving their country. They won’t read this. Most won’t even think beyond what the government has told them to think. They will live productive lives raising children, working and living life as they see fit. Maybe they are better off not thinking about all of this, but for me I think about the unemployed. I think about endless wars. I think about dishonest, corrupt politicians. I think about a compromised government. I think we can be better than we are currently being. I think about liberty and the cost of doing nothing. I think about freedom and the price and toll it takes on our country. Most of all, I think I have as much right as an American to express myself as that crazy Koran burning, nut job, in Florida!