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How many anniversaries do people know by the day of the week?  Most people probably don't know the day of the week on which they were born.

But there are a few days for which the day of the week is always remembered.  Tuesday, September 11, 2001, is one of those days.  And tomorrow is another Tuesday September 11.

Most of us well remember that day.  What struck me was the weather: beautiful clear and moderate temperature, both here in Oregon and in New York City.  For me, September is always a month of returning to business, of preparation, and also of tying things up.  The days grow shorter, the weather becomes cooler, and every clear sunny day seems precious.

Tuesday also represents the practical start of the week, with Monday morning meetings complete, the work left undone from Friday and Monday needing attention, and priorities adjusted for the balance of time remaining in the week.

In my own case, we had one child starting kindergarten and another still in pre-school.  When the attack occurred, our oldest one asked what it was.  Her mother said it meant there might be a war, and our men might have to go and fight.  The daughter asked the same question as many other children must have:  "Will Daddy have to go to the war?"

But the Republic was not so desperate that it needed an even-then rapidly aging lawyer; it didn't need apparently even the taxes of the rich.  Instead the burden of this war fell on a very small portion of the population, where it remains to this day.  For the children of this part of the population, the answer was that Daddy and indeed Mommy also, would have to go to the war.  In many cases they returned disabled and in thousands of families, they did not return at all.

I well recall those days just after 9/11, when no airplanes flew except fighter jets, and one wondered if this was the end of the attacks or just the beginning.  At that time, I think there was nothing that the nation would not have done to strike back, and no sacrifice that the nation would not make.  But no such demand was ever made, and we were told instead to "go shopping".  (Although the right wing objects that President Bush never actually said those words exactly together, this is like complaining that Bogart never said "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca.

And now here we are.  A small amount of justice has been inflicted on that animal bin Laden, but the war still goes on.  It's like we are our in our own vast Shackleton expedition, and we have returned to to the outskirts of civilization.  For 18 months from late 1914 to mid 1916, Shackleton had been out of touch with the world.  When after an astounding journey he reached a whaling station, he asked:

"When did the war end?"
And the answer came:
The war has not ended.  Millions are being killed.  The world has gone mad.

Originally posted to Plan 9 from Oregon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


Do you think the burden of the war has been unfairly placed on just a small part of the population?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:41:43 PM PDT

  •  Not real sure why, but this song came to mind (4+ / 0-)

  •  I remember that day very well (9+ / 0-)

    I remember waking up to CNN showing the first World Center tower burning.  I thought that alone was horrible.  I once had an office there on the 104th floor.  And then I saw the 2nd plane crash.  I immediately knew it was a terrorist act and who was behind it.

    A couple of days later I actually volunteered to assist in the capture of Osama.  I knew some useful things about mounted operations in mountainous terrain and I had contacts in the Pentagon, a guy whose office was destroyed by the 3rd plane.

    I was told that we were going to get him soon, not to worry.

    I considered myself a disaffected Republican but a Republican nonetheless back in those days.

    The Iraq war changed me.

    By the way, you can find your birth day here, this is mine;

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:20:13 PM PDT

  •  My Facebook update from September 8, 2011: (8+ / 0-)
    As we have done since 2002, this Sunday we will again indulge in a saccharine display of patriotism, gush over our sundry military adventures and wallow in the the strange mix of maudlin and hyper-nationalistic sentiments that have made the last decade such a Kafkaesque joyride.

    How about we make this year the last? September 11, 2012 can just be Tuesday. Wounds are supposed to heal, and it can't be healthy to keep ritualistically ripping open our scars just to see fresh blood.

    This will no doubt be an unpopular opinion, but I think I'm due for one.

    It's been ten years. Seriously. Enough is enough.

    It was an unpopular opinion, but not as unpopular as I had expected.  Perhaps because my friends know how much I've left on that particular altar.  Or not.  I can't say.

    Sometimes it hits me just how angry I still am about our reaction to that day, and on my rare visits to the U.S. since then I have to admit to myself that I have not yet forgiven the American people for accepting war with Iraq, for raising hardly a peep while we inflicted hundreds of times worse than anything done to us and rained vengeance mostly on the innocent.  This may remain a wedge between myself and the country of my birth forever.  Of course, I'm hardly innocent in this; I went over there and did some of it, thinking all the while that it had to be a bad dream, that we couldn't really be this crazy.  While I've been in the military, I could postpone dealing with it by volunteering for yet another overseas assignment (including deployments, I'm up to five!), but since I'm getting out soon, this particular strategy will not serve for much longer.

    I'm not sure there was much of a point to this post.  Maybe after I'm out I need to lose myself in the Sierra Nevada for a few weeks, or go hike the John Muir trail and sort it all out before trying to rejoin American society.


    •  Sadly, I agree with you. I used to say, "It's as (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, joy221, Debby, KatGirl, pixxer

      though Canada attacked us and we retaliated against Norway," but I stopped saying it after seeing that nobody was listening. I'll admit I'm far more sad/angry/concerned about what the US has become than the damage inflicted on Iraq, but that's not to say I have no sympathy for her citizens. I lost no one on 9/11, so while I do hope Osama et al. are being made example of in hell, it brings me no comfort or "closure". And Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. deserve to join them when their earthly sojourns are over.

      •  Much of the current bitter divide in the country (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pixxer, Crider

        stems from the deliberate use of 9/11 as a political tool by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.  I actually still think that George Bush was a pretty decent guy, but who let those two evil clowns make a sock monkey out of him.

        You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

        by Cartoon Peril on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:01:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril, pixxer

          Romney strikes me as being cut from the exact same cloth as Dubya. I don't know about pretty decent, but I don't think either of them is a real leader and Romney could lead us down the same stupid path as the previous Repub did.

          Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

          by Debby on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:39:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think Dubya is evil, both similarly and dissim- (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crider, Cartoon Peril

          ilarly to the GIPPER. Someone once said that everything Shrub does is motivated by rage, causing me to christen him Oedipus Tex. Combine his limited intellect (so desirable in a leader!) and his need, oh the NEED to show the hated Poppy once and for all whose was bigger and you get a manipulable moron who longs to be a "war President." I think W is too dim ever to have hatched such a plot as Rove/Cheney/Rummy came up with, but he still signed on to it.

    •  I remember the summer of '02 when the talk (0+ / 0-)

      of war on Iraq grew, and I thought then, as I do now, that 9/11 was going to be used as an excuse for war on a country with nothing to do with 9/11.  The government seemed strange to me, literally anxious for war, almost as if someone had gone back in time and stepped on a butterfly.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:07:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember (0+ / 0-)

        going frantically from news network to news network in the aftermath, looking for anyone who opposed invading Afghanistan, and finding the only person I agreed with was Pat Buchanan - what's wrong with this picture?

        Curiously, I only noticed the day of the week convergence after I noticed that October 2, the day I had a kidney removed, is on the same day (Tuesday also) day of the week as it was 5 years ago.

        Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

        by ramara on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:33:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree also (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, Cartoon Peril maybe its a more popular sentiment than we realize. I don't believe that the events of 9/11 are  in danger of being "forgotten".  And I have a difficult time believing that the victims and families feel respected or receive any feelings of comfort by being  exposed to endless footage of the crash, the firey destruction or images of people jumping to their deaths.

      My Dad died on Christmas day of 2000 and I will never forget or stop missing him. But when that holiday approaches each year, I choose to remember him as the vital, active and generous man he always was.....not the man lying comatose in a hospital bed with a trach and a feeding gastrstomy tube. And I know that he himself.....would not want us to be spending Christmas dwelling on that memory.

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril

      The end of it for me was when I was involved in a conversation that involved "where were you" and, being among Midwesterners, we all had the experience of seeing it on TV in some way. Then someone perked up with, "Where were you when Elvis died?!" Argh! Are you f'ing kidding me?

      I feel sad today because of how this event changed our society, or maybe how it revealed it. I have anger over that, too, anger about how the event was used. I feel very sad for the people who I know were actually, personally affected by the event. I know people who lost family and friends. This anniversary actually means something real to them. But really, I don't need to hear how you had a hair appointment that morning and you all stood around the television in Kansas, horrified. And I don't need to see your "patriotic" Facebook avatars. I'm just...done.

      Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

      by Debby on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:37:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought about writing something but the words (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, joy221, KatGirl, WakeUpNeo

    didn't come to me. So I am glad you did.

    I remember that day too. I was driving to class and the sky was very blue. It was so bright that it hurt the eyes. I watched the horror unfold in my professor's office. I had just found out I was pregnant. And of course, my husband deployed immediately--which left me thinking all sorts of thoughts.

    The reaction to 911 didn't surprise me. When they decided to go after Hussein in Iraq. There were powers that had it in for him, for a long time. I was shocked though that our idiot government at the time was allowed to squander what seemed like all of our resources on Iraq instead of going to Afghanistan in the first place and putting that to rights.

    Everything felt off. And it was off and it has been off ever since. The way the Patriot act was put into place, I thought was the cheapest, low down, attack on our civil rights. And you know just yesterday the government decided to expand the list of illnesses that were caused by the fires.

    I bet it was vets getting treatment for similar conditions that paved the way for that. Sickness caused by burning trash heaps.

    When the government told those people in NYC that it was safe there, that they didn't need masks, I about kicked a hole in a window. How could they lie like that over something so deadly, and how could the fire fighters believe them?

    All that burning plastic, and paint, and the cleaning supplies and carpets and tiles and finishes on wood and linoleum, and insulation--all sorts of things that if you were to read the MSDS sheets for the items themselves or their constituents would let you know that these things are deadly as burnt particulate matter.

    Yes, the world went mad. And it is still mad.

  •  The wound in America's heart has become (0+ / 0-)

    the scab on America's soul.

    And we just pick, pick pick

    By which, I mean, of course: kill kill kill.

  •  From a tweet... (4+ / 0-) Mr.Botter

    R.I.P the 2,976 #American people who lost their live on #9/11 and R.I.P the 48,644 Afghan and 1,690,903 Iraqi people who paid ultimate price

    •  Iraq numbers seem high, not that any number (0+ / 0-)

      is acceptable.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:28:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and one might add (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, WakeUpNeo

      The over 3,000 Americans who lost their lives fighting in Iraq, in a cause which had nothing to do with 9/11, didn't make us one bit safer, and which will only have the effect, ultimately of replacing one corrupt brutal Middle eastern leader with another. Shit, we don't even get free oil out of the deal.
         I have strong feelings about this, obviously

      An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

      by MichiganChet on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:56:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Its interesting to think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    about the various "Day of Infamy" that we have to deal with. And, in almost all cases they related to being attacked by some other government.

    September 11, 2001 was a terrorist attack by a group of people who were able to convince 19 people to give their lives to try and punish the US for transgressions the group perceived us to have done.

    I think currently, the only reason we remember what day of the week it was is we experienced the event. I suspect that after the current generation of people who were old enough to feel it happen have gone, the actual day of the week will only be something we remember historically. And, I only remembered that it was a Tuesday when you mentioned it.

    And, I suspect that's why we are still at war. We don't have an objective that we can attain in this war. We can't take the capitol, there isn't one. We can't capture the leader of the country, there isn't a country or even a leader anymore. So, like any other country that gets attacked by another one, the people are trying to eject the invader and protect their homes. And, we keep killing them back.

    Keep moving. Its harder to hit a moving target.

    by KatGirl on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:31:53 AM PDT

  •  For my comment I can think of nothing better (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, WakeUpNeo

    Than posting 'Mesopotamia'

    They shall not return to us, the resolute, the young,
      The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
    But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
      Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?

    They shall not return to us; the strong men coldly slain
      In sight of help denied from day to day:
    But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
      Are they too strong and wise to put away?

    Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide--
      Never while the bars of sunset hold.
    But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
      Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

    Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour:
      When the storm is ended shall we find
    How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
      By the favour and contrivance of their kind?

    Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
      Even while they make a show of fear,      
    Do they call upon their debtors,  and  take  counsel  with  their
      To conform and re-establish each career?

    Their lives cannot repay us--their death could not undo--
      The shame that they have laid upon our race.
    But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
      Shell we leave it unabated in its place?

       Some truths are always relevant

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:59:11 AM PDT

  •  9/11 Ruined everything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, WakeUpNeo

    My meme for the day.

    I didn't have a TeeVee set. But when I woke up (California), turned on my computer and went to CNN to read the news, the site was all taken down, but for a big headline announcing the attack. It was big news. There was all sorts of people witnessing on other websites, such as Slashdot.

    It wasn't until that evening, after working at home that day, that I went to my girlfriend's house and could clearly see how the media was exploiting their audience with emotional garbage over this event. Over the next few weeks, America became a nation of frightened cowards. Compare to the Brits and how they handled WWII and all that terrorism over Northern Ireland and I think you'll see my point.

    But it was the best thing that ever happened to George W. Bush. He exploited it to the hilt and his popularity rose like an intercontinental ballistic missile.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:49:16 AM PDT

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