Monday, September 11, 2006

Forget 9/11

Here we go again with candlelight, bag pipes, poems, and George and Laura. It can only mean one thing. It is September 11th.

I hate the way September 11th is remembered. It is the day of the year when Americans are most encouraged to stay in their bubble of ignorance about the rest of the world and think that their suffering is more significant than anyone else's.

The Americans who died on September 11, 2006 are not more worthy of mourning than the thousands of Iraqis killed by U.S. government terror. If we are going to engage in this display of grief every year, we should at least include memorials to other people.

How many Afghans were killed so that the U.S. could "save" their country? How many Iraqis? Let us acknowledge that governments sponsor terror every time they drop bombs. We should also acknowledge that other families mourn their dead. Iraqi families don't cry more than American families do. Dead is dead. Death by violence is always terrible. We might spend time remembering the Americans killed by random violence.

Are their families ever made whole? How do they spend the anniversaries of their loved one's death? What can we learn about the universality of human suffering if we think of them too?

September 11th should be a day of mourning for the families and friends of those who perished that awful day. It is their thoughts and feelings that count the most. Do they really want to publicly grieve? Anniversaries of deaths are hard enough, how does it feel to be constantly reminded of one's pain? I wish someone would ask them, all of them, and not just the self-appointed few we see most often who are said to represent 3,000 people.

So let us remember the victims of terror, all the victims, all over the world.