2011-09-08

9/11 Anniversary: Let's Not

At the risk of sounding a tad controversial, I would like to propose that we not commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist event. Absolutely nothing good can come of a nation that chooses to remember its gravest sadness. While it is noble to pay tribute to our lost loved ones and the lives they lead, commemorating the mass destruction that plunged the world into the fear-ridden black hole it has become in the last ten years is at best macabre and at worst insane.

Consider every other major American political holiday: President's Day, Columbus Day, Independence Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, etc. (I have chosen to leave out Memorial Day and Labor Day because these are not uniquely American holidays.) Each of these days commemorates something that makes the United States a wonderful place: our independence, our spirit of discovery, great men in our history, and so forth.

It is natural for a nation to commemorate its heroes and its greatest achievements. Maintaining such a commitment propagates a general spirit of optimism and pride. Yes, such days are deliberately nationalistic and as such contain an element of propaganda. However, it is at least a type of propaganda that speaks to our greatest qualities as a nation: freedom, ambition, equality, leadership.

Commemorating a day of death and mass destruction serves no other purpose but to remind us that horrible things can happen to us, that we have gone to war against a faceless, nameless, and largely uncoordinated group of petty criminals who attack civilians in order to protest against the acts of our federal government.

9/11 as a "holiday," as a symbol of national memorium, is designed to keep us at war. That is the plain truth of it. The government seeks only to remind us that something nasty can happen to us at any minute. Orange alert! Orange alert! Keep an eye on your neighbors, keep a gas mask in the pantry, pay no attention to the unconstitutional body-scanners and the ever-climbing national debt, inflation rate, and barriers to trade.

Only through fear, shame, and sadness can tyrants rule us. Freedom and optimism walk hand-in-hand.

My birthday is on the 20th. Let's celebrate that, instead.