On Remembering

Today I have very mixed feelings about this 10-year anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001.  I've listened with interest to interviews with first responders, air traffic controllers, and fighter pilots who were intimately involved as the events unfolded.  Those interviews were compelling and inspiring, and brought a perspective I hadn't fully appreciated previously.

Still, there's something about the way the day is being remembered in some of the media that is troubling to me.  When I see t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, and the like, the day seems over-commercialized and over-merchandised.  I'm bothered by the broadcasts that are planned, with commercial interruption, of course.  I've learned in my own life that dwelling on the unpleasant past does nothing to change it; however, it does keep me whipped up and upset about it.  Of course, there is value in sharing respectful remembrances of the day, in quiet reflection about where we were, and where we've come to on this journey as a nation.

I grew up in a military family.  I was 11 years old the first time my father deployed to Vietnam.  I spent the entire 13 months of his deployment expecting news of his death.  Each day upon awakening, I wondered if it would be the day I learned my father had died.  And in my neighborhood, fathers, brothers, and sons were lost . . . the family one street over . . . the family two houses up . . . my brother's best friend's family lost a son.  It was as if the mortar shells were falling in our own neighborhood.  My father survived three deployments, but our sacrifice as a family was huge.  I mention this only so that you'll know that I'm no stranger to war and how it affects military families.  I'm sympathetic to their sacrifice, and I fully understand the mission to protect our citizens and our freedoms.

This morning I read an editorial in our local paper that expressed how I feel about the day better than I can say it myself.  And so I'm linking to it here.  It is my hope that we can remember as a nation united and with the respect and dignity that the fallen deserve.

I'm closing this post to comments today because I don't want a political brouhaha to break out, but please feel free to contact me via email if you have something you care to share.  Just go to my complete profile, and you'll find my email address there.