You Don’t Need Me To Tell You To “Never Forget” 9/11

America The Beautiful - photo by Kris Krüg

This is going to be a different kind of 9/11 article. With all the “never forget” messages and comments floating around Facebook, Twitter and countless blogs, you’ve probably been included in the embrace of “We will never forget” enough times already, you don’t need me piling on. This refrain is of course unnecessary because nobody is going to forget 9/11, so why do many feel the need to say it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be Mr. Cynical, I realize people can grieve and honor in their own ways, and if saying “We will never forget” is what it takes then so be it. But I do think sometimes as a culture we mindlessly utter these phrases and they lose meaning altogether.

So, I won’t use the phrase in its traditional sense in this article, instead I will tell you specifically what I will never forget.

I will never forget that loss of innocence and that overwhelming fear we had as a country that allowed us to be taken into one war that had no endgame and another war that had no purpose. Much of the country has now come around to this perspective and it took over 6000 U.S. military deaths  and countless Iraqi and Afghan deaths for that realization to happen.

I will never forget that a country that is usually fearful of big government allowed the military industrial complex to expand and our civil liberties to erode.

I will never forget that everything DID NOT change on 9/11, but that we allowed A LOT to change since then. 9/11 didn’t change everything. We did. And not for the better.

I will never forget that the president who presided over the worst terrorist attack in the United States is still revered by many conservatives as the president who “kept us safe.” How’s that for a dichotomy?

And yes, I will never forget the lives lost on September 11, 2001. But does my remembrance of that loss make up for a decade of war, a growing police state, thousands of military deaths, and potentially hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan deaths?

America The Beautiful – photo by Kris Krüg

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