Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2007

As I listen to the radio this morning, I am reminded of the date. And the more I listen, the more it becomes clear: No one knows what to say.

Arthur's school calendar has today marked as "The Day We Will Never Forget." Okay. If we'll never forget, why do we have to mark it? There's something so self-serving, so bombastic, about the statement. Never forgetting is internal, but marking the calendar with a big Twin Towers graphic overlaid by those word says "We'll never forget motherfucker."

And certainly rage is as appropriate a reaction as sorrow (which is where I tend to live with it), but graphic arts bombast I can do without.

We have been abused and taken advantage of by our government. Our love of country has been manipulated, our grief has been played like a violin. Osama bin Laden is still free and our troops were prevented from capturing him, and no one who actually had anything to do with the attacks of September 11 has been brought to justice. More American troops have died in Iraq, a war cynically sold to us as having 'something' to do with September 11, than actually died on September 11, 2001.

Our civil liberties have been eroded past the point of horror in the name of fighting back, and yet, we have not really fought back. There is no evidence that the PATRIOT Act or the illegal wiretappings have captured any terrorists.

The city of New York itself has been treated with cynicism and gross disregard. Respiratory disease among clean-up workers is rampant. Giuliani bears a great deal of blame for refusing to allow OSHA to run the safety show at Ground Zero, while the federal government is accountable for a false EPA report declaring the area safe, and yanking away money promised to survivors and rescuers.

And I could go on.

So today's memorials focus on grief, because the rage that once was directed at bin Laden alone is now directed inward, towards our own government, and that is unbearable.

And about grief, there is so little to say.

(A note to my IIRTZ readers: I live about 20 miles from Ground Zero, so the memorials and such are local events. Cross-posted.)