September 11th, Six Years Later

I had the awesome privilege of attending a September 11th (Patriot Day) tribute today. It’s been six years, but it still seems like yesterday. And a lot has changed. I’d like to lay out some quick thoughts on September 11th.

My Thoughts on September 11th, Six Years Later

If you listen to the news enough, you would think that September 11th had never happened. You hear stories of corrupt lobbyists, celebrities without underwear, or the recent sex scandal involving a politician. You hear stories of Generals speaking against their own leadership and how senior public officials are deserting the Bush Administration.

It’s easy to be discouraged when reports come in of a few hundred Iraqi civilians targeted by yet another homicide bomber. And it’s equally discouraging to hear about more Soldiers’ deaths. Some are quick to cry, “Come home and stop the carnage”, or, “Come home and end this unjustified war.”

But for every politician taken down by scandal, and every Soldier and civilian killed, the cost of ending the war against terror increases. And for those who have died in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, ending the war would send a message: we’re willing to fight, but we’re on a timetable.

Will it take another attack to justify the war against terror? Or will that attack just persuade the politicians to force this country into an isolationist country (a plan that got us nowhere in the beginning of the 20th century)?

We need to continue to take the fight elsewhere, otherwise the fight will be on our cities, our neighborhoods, and on our doorsteps.

Conclusion

As an American citizen, I am proud of our fighting men and women who fight for our freedom in far-off places. I’m able to sleep in an air-conditioned home and eat a warm meal and not really have to worry about what might happen. But the freedom I experience has a high price, and I’m reminded everyday when I hear a news report that more Iraqi civilians have been killed by a homicide bomber, or more Soldiers will not return alive to their families.

September 11th is about remembering the victims of terrorism on that day. But it’s also about remembering those who continue to fight the terror that grips too many parts of the world.

Thank you for reading.

8 Comments

  1. I believe also that it is important to honor those who perished both in 9/11 and the war on terror. It seems that, as a nation, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place; leave Iraq and have all of our fallen soldiers and civilian casualties deaths be in veign or Stay in Iraq and have more death in order to accomplish the goal of ridding the world of terror. Our country seems more divided than ever over this point. I think it’s important to remember that we’re not fighting an army, but rather a group of religious extremists. I am happy that Sadaam is out of power. But Iraq wasn’t even responsible for the 9/11 attack. Osama Bin Ladan was, yet we STILL haven’t captured him. I, for one, would like to know when the madness will end. Are we accomplishing anything anymore? Or are we just so afraid of admitting a mistake that we are stubbornly tenacious in our plight? Many of my friends that are in the military have told me that they don’t even know why they are there anymore. Sometimes it’s important to put humanity before patriotism, because in the end we are all just people trying to live our lives and be happy. The end.

  2. Robert this the case in every country that’s been affected with terrorism, Though India has never suffered a attack that caused the deaths of as many as 3/4000 people, but overall India looses as many as 10,000 citizens to terrorism each year.

    After every terror attack /calamity, there’s a standard procedure, the government promises compensation to the next of kin of victims. More often than not, years pass before they even get to see the money. The bureaucracy has become so used to promising compensation that they approach it as a task they perform on a daily basis and make mistakes. Most recently,

    In the recent Hyderabad blasts, a victim’s sister received a check not in her name, but in the name of her dead brother. How insensitive is that. In another case, the banks returned several checks that were presented by families of victims. Why? the account that was to be debited didn’;t have sufficient funds.

    Bottom line is that there are so many of us that it doesn’t make a difference if a few are lost to terrorism.

  3. helvik,
    I agree to an extend that we must put humanity before patriotism. However, there’s a trade off. If we choose humanity, will we be able to continue our (the American) way of life unimpeded, or are we going to continue to have others attack our interests here and abroad?

    Manu,
    I hope America never gets to the point where terrorism is a way of life and its gets to the point that mailing out compensation checks becomes routine. It is incredibly insensitive to mail checks to deceased relatives and also to send bad checks.

    I personally value all human life and don’t personally rationalize it if a country has a large population, but I do blame it in large part on the media and governments for the perception on a human’s life. The tsunami that struck caused a tremendous loss of life. It was almost unbelievable. And then you hear about a bus crash that kills hundreds of people. I think, what would have happened if something like that occurred in the US? The Virginia Tech shootings killed 30 people and was all over the news, and the next day you hear about a hundred or so Iraqis killed in a suicide bomb and it barely made a headline.

  4. You’re right Ronald, the media is the mail culprit here. They give importance to attacks where there is a lot of melodrama. In a bus accident the melodrama is much less than say the VT massacre so VT gets precedence.

    I think about 4000 US soldiers have died in Iraq since 2003, but no one knows how many Iraqis have perished. Minal Panchal, an Indian was one of the deceased in the VT attack. Once the Indian media got wind of it, they took quotes of anybody or everybody who could relate to Minal in any way. Teachers, classmates, guy who delivers newspapers tec. everybody got a chnace to be on TV. Her profile on Orkut.com had to be closed by Google because over 15,000 condolkence messages were posted in her profile in less than a day.

    A week after that, a poor woman delievered her baby with the help of her on the road outside a hospital. Why because the doctors and staff of the hospital were on strike and they would not let anyone enter. The baby died shortly after.
    With all due respect, the VT killer was a mad freak, and that’s what insane people do. But what does one respond to situations when highly educated and perfectly sane doctors let new borns die right in front of their own eyes.

    Only one channel aired this news and that too in the “other news from around the country” section of the news bulletin.

  5. Very well stated! What else needs to be said!

    Mata ne…

  6. I’m afraid our country is so divided and so “political” that it will take another major attack by terrorists in our country before we really do much about it. Our politicians like to talk about it, but they won’t even call the war what it is. It’s not a “war on terror” — terror is just a strategy of warfare. The war is against the Islamic extremists who plan to destroy us.

    It’s the same thing on the illegal immigration situation — politicians talking in circles, not doing much of anything, but if a terrorist ever enters through the border and causes problems, fingers will be pointed at the other party, when neither side is doing much about it.

    We need a revival in our country, where we see things based on what’s most important (God) instead of what doesn’t offend a single person. (And it’s ironic that the politically correct movement still offends people and restricts freedom — it’s not just trying to be good, there’s some people driving it who are against the American way of life, who want to remove all Christianity from our society.)

    Anyway (back on topic), it’s really sad that so many people have forgotten the lessons we should’ve learned from 9/11. I hope we’ll somehow remember them before there’s another catastrophe.

  7. Beppo,

    Thanks for stopping by again. I hope the job hunt is going okay. I don’t remember seeing an update.

    I hope we don’t need another catastrophe to remember the pain of 9/11.

  8. As an American citizen, I am proud of our fighting men and women who fight for our freedom in far-off places.

    Too bad invading Iraq has next to nothing with “fighting for our freedom”. But hey, that won’t stop you from holding that very stupid opinion!

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