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There are some weird rituals and holidays out there, I'll grant you.

But I'm not sure why we're "celebrating" 9/11 as some kind of sacred High Holy Day.

I mean, the Jewish community just celebrated Rosh Hashanah.  Muslims, having finished Ramadan, are celebrating Eid al-Fitr this weekend.  Heck, we're even starting football season.

And yes, the memories of Father Judge and other 9/11 heroes are still with me.  I know they died because of terrorism by extremists.

Still, I feel like we let the terrorists win by spending emotional and spiritual energy continuing to grieve the losses of 9/11.  The world doesn't need to stop and we don't need to stop, just because a couple dozen sociopaths decided to make a political statement by killing people.

I just feel a burning desire to turn the page - to move on, to get past the grief and anger.  There is a certain point in time where anger and grief become toxic and corrosive, instead of productive and poignant.

Today, my grief about 9/11 is mostly related to the way that certain groups have tried to use 9/11 to attack whole groups of people, like Muslims or liberals or Republicans.  My current grief about 9/11 is related to seeing those who still haven't learned the lessons of that event.

I grieve the use of the "9/12 Project" as a way for Glenn Beck to spark outrage toward Democrats, social justice lovers, and President Obama in particular.  Beck's crocodile tears, his insane chalkboard, and his conspiracy theories (as well as calling Obama a racist) are making him millions, because Republicans need to demonize Obama and Beck (and Palin) is just crazy enough to do it.

9/11 doesn't have to make the world stop.

We shouldn't cancel football games.

We shouldn't cancel Eid carnivals, as one mosque in Fresno is doing out of concern that the Saturday celebration falls on 9/11.  And while I appreciate the sensitivity, I just don't want to go on celebrating disaster.

I want life to go on.

I want the recovery to continue.

I want us to have enough tolerance and acceptance of one another that we're able to grieve with those who grieve and rejoice with those who rejoice.

My sister in law celebrates her birthday on 9/11.  And, as memory serves, so does Markos.  We shouldn't require a blackout on celebrations just because something terrible happened on 9/11 nine years ago.  Terrible things happen every day.  But so do miracles.

Originally posted to Benintn on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 07:40 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm sick of it, too (6+ / 0-)

    The whole 9/11 business has become an excuse for treacly piety and sanctimoniousness. The injuries we have inflicted on ourselves in our responses to those events far outweigh the damage that was done that day, IMO.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 07:44:48 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure what the point is here (0+ / 0-)

    Still, I feel like we let the terrorists win by spending emotional and spiritual energy continuing to grieve the losses of 9/11.

    Do you feel this way about people who knew 9/11 victims?  Grieving is a very personal thing, and it's ridiculous to claim that someone grieving the loss of a loved one (even if it was a whole 9 years ago) is helping the terrorists.

    But I really don't get this:

    But I'm not sure why we're "celebrating" 9/11 as some kind of sacred High Holy Day.

    ...

    We shouldn't require a blackout on celebrations just because something terrible happened on 9/11 nine years ago.

    •  I personally know 9/11 victims. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard

      And their surviving families.

      15 million voters in 53 days. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 07:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's one thing for the families and friends of (4+ / 0-)

      those who died to remember it in their personal ways.  But the collective national focus is a different thing.  I don't think it's a bad thing to have some sort of national commemoration, truthfully, but it's been so co-opted to score cheap points by various for political and religious entities.  Those actions have robbed the day of its ability to unify, and instead have turned groups of Americans against each other - pretty much giving the attackers what they'd hoped for.

      They only call it Class War when we fight back.

      by lineatus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 07:59:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe progressives need to find a way (3+ / 0-)

        to commemorate the day in a way that attracts attention and provides a counterbalance to the right-wing noise machine--for example, Obama just announced a "national day of service"...that's the perfect frame for commemorating 9/11. It would be great if we could try to revive the wonderful spirit of volunteerism and caring for one another that briefly surfaced after 9/11 (only to be crushed by Bush and the relentless demand that we go shopping instead).

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:12:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  PS - My wife is Irish Catholic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot

      so believe me, I understand how unending grief can be a comforting ritual.  (Always works better with whiskey.)

      I'm not saying don't grieve.

      What I AM saying is that we can't allow our own grief to become so consuming that we fail to allow the light of new birth into our lives.  I'm saying that we shouldn't assume that Muslims who celebrate the end of Ramadan are doing it "at us".

      I'm asking us to grow up and realize that sorrow and joy sometimes go together.

      15 million voters in 53 days. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 07:59:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Personal grief is one thing ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freesia

      and in some ways the bereaved have their grief for the rest of our lives. That's just the way we are. But there are lots of grievous losses in our society and I think there's something unhealthy in continuing to fetishize this particular loss at a public level.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:05:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Commemoration and "fetishizing" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel

        are different things...commemoration of a public event is appropriate. I think people are confusing political exploitation with "commemoration" they aren't the same. The fact is that 9-11 was a turning point in history--without it, Bush would not likely have had a second term, we would not be at war in two Muslim countries (or maybe three, depending on how one counts Pakistan and whether the end of "combat operations" in Iraq makes that big a difference).

        We should commemorate 9-11 in our way...not leave it up to Sarah Palin and Glen Beck.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:32:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  9/11 is being used to divide as opposed (9+ / 0-)

    to unite. I'm tired of it being a gimmick for the crazies.

    -------
    "Well we can't all come and go by bubble!"
    ~Elphaba

    by Muzikal203 on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 07:52:51 AM PDT

  •  Pearl Harbor Day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus, a night owl

    It's faded into the nation's memory, but Pearl Harbor was the WWII generation's 9-11.  Some day September 11 will be like December 7.  But until we work to become just as much partners with the Middle East as we are with Japan, that won't happen.

    •  The Good War (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nina Katarina, joanneleon

      The historical consensus is that WWII was a good war and I have no quarrel with that. But the victory and vindication probably defused all that. I bet even by 1949 the remembrance of that day was very muted.

      9/11 has been used as the excuse to lead us into open-ended, criminal wars with maybe more to come. It also fuels all kinds of idiocy in our public discourse.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:03:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pearl Harbor day was and is still (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice in Florida

        remembered by many people.  For the older generations it was the day the world changed and WWII essentially started. Not sure why you think by 1949 the remembrance was muted because it never was "celebrated" it was acknowledged and remembered as a day of tragedy. I think the reason so much importance has been placed on 9/11 is because unlike WWII we don't have a victory to savor. We haven't felt a vindication in conquering the people that harmed and attacked us and I doubt we will. So, for far into the future unless something as bad happens, 9/11 will be the focal point.  

        I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

        by thestructureguy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:20:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would rather see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned

        us celebrate the anniversary of the day (when it comes) that we end this ill-advised and calamitous war on terror.

        Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Senate race for the "Eyes and Ears 2010" project at Huffington Post

        by joanneleon on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:20:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There will never be a "day"... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Demi Moaned

          hopefully that wil happen, but if it does it will happen gradually, over a period of years, there won't be any particular event or date...this isn't like a war between nations that end in a treaty or surrender, with luck Al Queda et.al. will fade away until it's no  longer a danger to much of anyone.

          On the other hand, if people continue the path we're on now--a "clash of civilizations" between Islam and the west--it may never end...

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:25:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I just don't see the equivalence between (0+ / 0-)

      Pearl Harbor Day and 9/11. Indeed, such an equivalence seems forced, seems a justification for the Bush Admin's ill-advised response in the guise of a righteous "War on Terror." As I said in a comment in an Open Thread this AM, I truly feel that our nation has been held hostage by the events of 9/11, that we have lost sight of some of the values we possessed previously, and that we have allowed 9/11 to dominate the national discourse, and to legitimate actions, to such a degree that it may have harmed our nation more than the attacks themselves...

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:03:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The truth in what you say could be cause itself (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice in Florida

        ...for a national remembrence to rationalize it into a more realistic and appropriate history. If the anniversary can stimulate and cultivate a national awareness of over-reaction and collateral harm the US did to others then that's valuable.

        "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

        by kck on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:18:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Both days will live in infamy, (0+ / 0-)

      but the intensity of feeling will eventually fade for 9/11 as it did for Dec. 7, from being a living memory to being an historical fact. It will take generations, though. I was born after WWII, same generation as Pres. Obama, but even 30 years after 1941, I still remember being told as a child by older friends and relatives to be careful on Dec. 7, because some people considered it "Kill Jap Day" (I am Japanese-American). Nothing happened, and my generation shrugged it off. I doubt we give the same warning to our kids. But an older generation was in fact traumatized enough to pass on a taste of what the fear must have been like back then...

  •  Good diary, good points, but... (3+ / 0-)

    Just a few thoughts....one is the fact that there are so many people on the spectrum of grief, loss, and pain still - from awful, shocking memories to PTSD. That that one simple fact will cause a resonation of the personal internal celebrations for many more years.

    Anyone who loses a child can tell you that nothing needs to be said to anticipate the anniversary date with dread and cause pain weeks in advance. Such dates never pass unnoticed. There's a cellular level of grief, pain, and loss. Since so many millions share this experience, the shared memory is unavoidable and there probably is, or at least could be, positive value in a respectfully managed anniversary. Remember the ability to withstand trauma and be resilient is also on a spectrum...

    Also, there's simply unanswered questions, open issues, open wounds, and guilty parties still free to repeat this trauma on others. For some it could be like that repulsive time of waiting for the autopsy report still months after the shock of death of a loved one.  

    I can't explain the maudlin and we should protest silly or exploitative treatment. But celebration and rejoicing, and grief, pain, and loss, in other words, life, do sometimes all get mashed into a particular date, which can often become a week or even a season, the blooms in the garden from that time of year or certain birds suddenly in the yard, the smell of the breeze...and the memory surfaces, excited, simply by the calendar...and then finally it does get refiled.

    Happy Birthday to your SIL and Markos.  

    "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

    by kck on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:14:16 AM PDT

  •  It's time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kck, slksfca, googie

    for 9/11 to become a more private day of remembrance and reflection, IMHO.  

    It's used as a tool to manipulate the American people, over and over again, by different groups and different individuals.  

    The people who died on 9/11 will always be mourned.  But at some point, it needs to become a less defining moment.  Very little good has come as a result of 9/11.  The only good things that came from it that I can think of is the valor of New Yorkers who came to each others' aid, the tremendous outpouring of generosity and sympathy from people all over the world, and the way that it seemed to bring the whole world together in an unprecedented way, until George Bush and the neocons ruined all of that.

    Now, 9/11 is used as a time to honor the victims and the heroes, but unfortunately, it's also used to stoke fear and hatred, to remind Americans why we need to continue nonsensical wars and why we need to give up privacy and freedoms.  It now is used to divide, rather than unite.  

    Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Senate race for the "Eyes and Ears 2010" project at Huffington Post

    by joanneleon on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:18:02 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps this anniversay provokes Americans ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon

      ...to question

      "why we need to continue nonsensical wars and why we need to give up privacy and freedoms."

      ...more and more and and how 9/11/01

      "is used to divide, rather than unite."  

      "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

      by kck on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:24:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Commemorating 9-11 is appropriate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kck, googie, angry marmot

    it's just a matter of how it's done...instead of patting ourselves on the back for our supposed moral superiority, we should use the day to reach out to our neighbors and build community...it should be a day of ecumenical prayer, of seeking understanding among those of different cultures and religions, of service to improve our communities and ourselves....it doesn't have to be right-wing rallies...actually, using it for scoring political points is the most disrespectful thing I can imagine.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:19:38 AM PDT

    •  So, commemorating by going to an Eid (0+ / 0-)

      carnival is something that's permissible and shouldn't be treated as "disrespecting 9/11 victims and families," right?

      15 million voters in 53 days. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:50:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course...unfortunately many American Muslims (0+ / 0-)

        are are feeling the need to tone down their Eid celebrations for purposes of self-preservation....can't say I blame them.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:27:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  American should remember 9/11 (0+ / 0-)

    By singing the lyrics from the song " Try to remember the kind of September  http://www.poemhunter.com/...

  •  There was a guy named Beck, a pimp (0+ / 0-)

    He was a very intelligent guy. He took his high I.Q. and business acumen and started what would be a empire. Later on he had regret what he done and wanted to make amends for his discussing behavior. He wrote books and gave lectures. He was known as the pimp Iceberg Slim. Who did you think I was talking about, Glenn Beck? Donald Beck was ashamed of what he did by being a low life pimp, Glenn isn't. Glenn even took 9/11 and made it a product. He took the legacy of Dr. King and made the dream into a nightmare. Even a pimp like Iceberg Slim has more morals than Glenn Beck.

    Think...It ain't illegal yet ! George Clinton

    by kid funkadelic on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:21:49 AM PDT

  •  We watch (0+ / 0-)

    Brazil on 9/11.  Gilliam was prescient.

    Although I think "Ultimate Fail Day" might be a better appellation than "Patriot Day" as it reads on my calendar.

  •  I still pause on December 7th (5+ / 0-)

    Even though that was nearly 2 decades before my birth, and think a minute about that tragedy.

    Learn from history, but don't wallow in pain.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:25:09 AM PDT

  •  Because It's the Hugely Important 9th Anniversary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slksfca, Benintn, angry marmot

    and Americans always focus on the big* years.

    [*It's a midterm year when voting drops in half so the hate fear motivation is doubly important.]

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:25:43 AM PDT

  •  My friend's wedding is tomorrow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Benintn

    Not only does he save a bundle on DJs and reception halls, but he doesn't have to think about this crap for the entire day.

  •  There's a difference between celebration and (3+ / 0-)

    commemoration. Though I agree with you about how the right have glommed onto tragedy for their own ends.

    You bring up Rosh Hashanah, but the jewish community also 'celebrates' -- 'observes' is more accurate -- several tragedy-linked holy days. Notably, Yom HaShoah:

    Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurs on the 27th of Nissan. Shoah, which means catastrophe or utter destruction in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. This is a memorial day for those who died in the Shoah.

    Remembrance days can be done tastefully. Just because one certain dominating group chooses to do otherwise isn't reason enough to ignore the occasion entirely.

    •  No question - Halloween, Good Friday, and other (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel

      Christian holidays also highlight evil, disaster, demons, etc.

      Almost every "Saints Day" remembers a Christian martyr.

      So yes, I agree that remembrance days are worth doing.

      I'm just not sure the whole world has to stop (or that Muslims can't celebrate Eid) just because 9/11 is happening.

      15 million voters in 53 days. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 09:33:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yeah. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thestructureguy

        Not sure whether it's because I'm in the NYC area or that I've been having a more-or-less media-free week, but I haven't seen much of that sort of negative stuff. There's the annual assortment of 'how do we mix the past with the future and btw here's a local person who's got a birthday/wedding anniversary/whichever on 9/11', and the handful of relatives who do things like marches/bike rides/etc on the date, but really the general impression I get is that everyone accepts that different people need to mark (or not mark) the date in different ways, and yes, life goes on.

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