Nearly two decades have passed since the unprecedented, shocking, and tragic event of 9/11, which is slated to be commemorated in a manner of weeks. In general, Americans hold varying perceptions of the tragic event and its significance, both symbolic and empirical. After a great deal of objective deliberation concerning the event, most particularly, America’s reactive response, we have arrived at the following [perhaps, nuanced] view.
Pollyannaish inclined citizens, who declared that the horrendous event resulted in, at the very least, a short period of universally desired national unity, were shown to be dead wrong. The Nation had, for some time, been rancorously divisive and to our perception, the terrorist action did nothing to lessen the divisiveness. Notwithstanding a universal abhorrence of the event, each of the disparate cohorts appears to have imposed its own disparate and nuanced doctrinaire meaning and significance to the event. In our view, it would not be too much of a stretch to speculate that, among other evils the event, ultimately, played its relevant part in the later insurrection against the government’s Capitol Building.
Predictably, the divisive groups respectively, construed a significance to 9/11, consistent with, and supportive of, the views previously held by them. The xenophobic right-wing favored the “retaliatory war” undertaken by George Bush, which resulted in tens of thousands of American and Muslim deaths and incapacitating injuries. The systemically biased portion of the Nation initiated a shameful, ignorant, anti-Muslim pogrom [“Islamophobia”] against any individual with tan skin and a turban including, Indians, Sikhs, and members of other unrelated ethnos as well as terrorist reprisals against Mosques. No newly developed, unifying feeling of National brotherhood regarding American citizens of color, was created, rather, the hateful White Christian Nationalists, simply chose to enlarge their repugnant list of perceived enemies.
Disagreement with the governmental response to the 9/11 attack, apparently caused America’s crop of shameful, underbelly citizens, to believe that the government has not been in the right hands; a feeling which we would venture, helped prepare the various White Christian Nationalist groups for the later, Trump sponsored, January 6 insurrection. 9/11 was also the fertile greenhouse, for the evolution of the bizarre phenomenon of today’s plethora of delusional conspiracy theories, and the Bedlam-babbling, “Qu anon.” Anti-Semitic falsehoods, such as the tactically perfidious assertion that no Jews died in the catastrophe [in fact, there were a great many Jewish and Muslim casualties and deaths], or that our government, cynically played a part in it, are examples of the contemporary hazard of paranoiac fantasies which, frighteningly, metastasized, to a dangerous degree, into Congress. The fertile seeds of false propagandic assertions, reached its zenith with the Trump, neurotically created falsehood, that the election was stolen from him, as cultishly and violently asserted by the January 6, insurrectionists.
We need to take a good look at the grim facts of 9/11, to determine the appropriate context in which the subject event is seen and remembered. We adamantly object to any possible perception of the historical event as being, to any degree, analogous to the celebratory context, appropriate to such holidays as, Independence Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Hannukah or Christmas. Rather, it should be an elegiac occasion, appropriately remembering and mourning the casualties and destroyed families, on all sides, resulting from the terrorist incident including the shameful, responsive aftermath. It is our recommendation that 9/11 should properly be contextually understood as a sad commemoration for the many losses and notably, for the frustrating endurance of mankind’s failed aspiration for a peaceful and just world.
[ Addendum]: This essay, like the Valentine’s Day essay, “True Love and Bulbs,” will be perennially republished similarly, because of its felt eternality.