It’s My Party

This may not be a very popular post.  You see, I find this annual observance of death and destruction to be morbid.  Do the people who died deserve to be remembered?  Yes.  Do we have to indulge our cult of death in order to do so?  No.  For me, the day to really remember these people is every day.  That way we can remember them for the individuals they were and the lives they affected while they were here,  instead of merely as part of some monolithic faceless tragedy that perpetuated even more death.

Almost 3000 people died immediately in the attack.  Since then, over 200,000 have been killed and nearly 8 million have become refugees.  Death begets death.  To me, this is not something which deserves remembrance, it deserves condemnation.  Instead of being solemn, we should be vocal in our opposition to violence and the stupidity that breeds it.  Unfortunately, we mark time based upon violent events.  The WTC attack on 9/11/01 was merely this generation’s “where were you when Kennedy was shot” or “when the Challenger blew up” or  any other of numerous violent events.

If you want to remember the heroism, remember it every day.  Celebrate those who risk their lives every day even in small ways.  Celebrate those who help and assist with no expectation of compensation or thanks, but just because it is the right thing to do.

I will continue to celebrate this day as I always have… telling my sister Happy Birthday.  Because that is something that deserves remembrance and celebration.

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3 thoughts on “It’s My Party

  1. I don’t think you’re wrong, but I also don’t think that the people who choose to spend the day remembering whatever they can’t bring themselves to remember every other day are wrong, either. They’re just not as capable as you are, of sensitivity and compassion and awareness. Of horror and discernment and imagination. They just…can’t.
    I believe that for most people, it’s not measured by degrees, but by “yes” or “no.” They have memorial days and vigils and services, not moments, moods, or knowledge. They cannot live through something awful and know that their life has been changed–and then live, changed, for real. It’s like the difference between “being on a diet” and “changing one’s diet,” where the former is a short-term, always-conscious decision to briefly alter one’s lifestyle, while the latter is intended and lived out to be permanent, gradual, and eventually unconscious change within one’s life. You choose to forgo Twinkies in favor of carrot sticks as a snack for a couple of weeks, right, because it’s healthy. It’s a different thing entirely to make sensible choices a part of everyday life.
    To observe a moment of silence, to pause in memory, to celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost, as a part of everyday life.
    I know this is rambling, and I think I might be going in a direction that you weren’t intending. My real point is to say, however we do it, isn’t it a good thing just that we’re doing it? Remembering, that is? Pausing? Reflecting? Honoring.

    • I certainly do not believe that individuals are wrong to remember whenever and however they need in order to get through. I should have been specific and focused on the media driven bombast that surrounds this day. I suppose it’s no different than the emotional inflation of other holidays or days of remembrance, but the difference for me is the way we as a nation use this tragedy as some kind of nationalistic talisman, a call to revenge and retribution. I’ve always taken issue with propaganda, and by annually stoking this particular fire, the monolithic “they” keep alive powerfully negative imagery and memories in order to do what “they” will.

      I find the misguided businesses who decided to link their sales to 9/11 to be absurd rather than offensive. It’s the ridiculousness of it that demeans the memory of those who died. But then, we have Memorial Day sales, so where is the line?

      You are absolutely correct that we should cope and process and remember in any way we need. It’s when that remembrance is used by our plutocracy to manipulate that I have a problem. You may find this a little “conspiracy theory”-like, but the influence of the corporate media has made finding the truth amidst the noise difficult.

      • I understand.better where you’re coming from now. I agree that the media (mainstream media and also the social) encourage overreaction and myth-making without factual basis, which inhibits thought and reason, give and take, discussion, consideration, and real understanding. The recent tragedy, and the rush to judgment about its origins, is an example of this.

        I laughed at the mention of Memorial Day sales, since we recently went through the spate of Labor Day sales. how exactly do “‘Black Friday’ markdowns on name-brand furniture” relate to the meaning behind Labor Day?! Can’t we all just put down our credit cards for one day, let each other have 24 hours away from the retail jobs, and relax? (I know, I just did my bit to destroy the economy, right there.)

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