Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anniversary of a Bumper Sticker

Today, September 11, I could exhort all of us to never forget, but we've already forgotten, haven't we?

I could reach back into the sealed box that each of us has in the back of our head and take out my memories of Ground Zero, one week later, when the fires still burned and the air stank of seared steel and charred meat. Of the rows of 5-gallon plastic buckets that held...pieces...of my fellow citizens. Of standing in my best friend's looted apartment in haz-mat gear ankle-deep in ash — dangerous, as we were warned, because of it's "high organic content" — providing what comfort I could to a exhausted, sobbing NYPD SWAT cop. "We couldn't save anyone," more a prayer than a curse. "Goddamnit...goddamit...goddamit it all." Of the cold drizzle that leeched the colors from and ran the ink on the thousands of "Have You Seen..." or "Please CALL Us If You're Safe..." posters that covered every square inch of space in south Manhattan.

But in the end, does it matter?

Is it not easier for us as a culture to pretend that there aren't people who wish us dead? People who don't want our land, or our affluence, or our culture, or our freedom, but only wish to see us reduced to a gray ash of "high organic content," blown away by the winds of history.

It's hard to hang onto painful thoughts in a bumper sticker culture, where "solutions" are only a few words away. "Out Now!" "Impeach the Bastards!" "Intolerance is Evil!" "You Cannot Have Peace When You Prepare For War!" "No More War!"

Remembering is hard. I could tell you the consequences of not remembering, but I suspect you already know them. That is, of course, if you remember.

Have a nice day.


Not Available said...

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Michael.

That was well written and thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has forgotten, Michael. Some of us never will. Nor forgive, either.

Anonymous said...

never forgive--never forget!! dmd45

Yuri Orlov said...

I haven't forgotten and I doubt I'll ever be able to.

It still hurts as much as the day it happened for me. Even more so since the perpetrator is still sucking breath.

Let's hope that stops real soon...

Unknown said...

My Mom passed away 8 years ago, and it still hurts every time i think of her.

9/11 is the same, even though I knew no one in DC, PA or NYC. Like the others here, I will not forget, nor will I ever forgive.

I was driving through Minneapolis today - long story, I'm still a NoDaker - and I passed a car covered in "Qu'ran" bumper stickers proclaiming peace and patience. It was all I could do not to flip the SOB off.

They can proclaim their innocence all they want, but until I hear an apology - a real one - and see some real reform from the movers and shakers in the Muslim world, there is nothing but scorn and caution. I am not holding my breath for any of that. I am however, stocking up on essentials - and ammo.

Anonymous said...

Like many others, I had friends there. We didn't lose them - they were taken from us. I still have my fury.

...And we still have the loss. I heard Pink Floyd's 'Goodbye Blue Sky' today on the radio, and actually had to pull over. "Look, Mummy; there's a aeroplane up in the sky..."

No, I won't forget. Not now, not ever.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we've forgotten. Instead, we can't decide (as a nation) whether to be warriors or wimps. The Left thinks we brought the attacks upon ourselves so now must surrender our sovereignty and pride to appease the enemy. Orwell did say the quickest way to end a war is to lose it. Let's affirm that we will not take this path.