About the 10-year anniversary on Sept. 11

September 9, 2011
On September 11, 2002, I took an American Airlines flight, commuting to either California or Florida, I can’t remember which.

Our national nerves were already frayed by the events of the previous September 11 and the resulting Bush Administration fear campaign and “war on terrorism.”
Remember how we were all told to “be vigilant” on airplanes?
It was years before I could get on a plane without looking suspiciously
at my fellow passengers.

As we taxied, the pilot felt compelled to acknowledge the date and spend a few minutes talking about what happened the year before.

I was uncomfortable throughout and, to tell you the truth, a little pissed off.
I thought it was inappropriate.
We all knew what the date was. And what it meant.
We did not need reminding.

I get that he and the flight attendants lost friends and colleagues and wanted to honor their memory. But for many people, just getting on a plane on that day (or at all, after Sept. 11) was a fearful experience. So to call passengers’ attention to the date and the events of the year before likely increased their anxiety.

It’s now 10 years past the horrific events of that day and another opportunity to
publicly remind everyone of that loss.

Is this necessary? Are we not reminded every single day?
I know I am.

It’s my opinion that grief and remembrance are personal things
and should be kept mostly personal
and not turned into media events.

Flags at half-mast?

Church services?

Personal rituals and ceremonies?

Private thoughts and prayers?

Ceremonies of remembrance for and by American and United Airlines employees?
and first-responders?
A good idea.

A national moment of silence without media coverage?
A good option.

But public ceremonies and opportunities for political posturing?
Absolutely not.

Service to military personnel on this specific day?
No. Sept. 11 had NOTHING to do with freedom. That’s right-wing hype.
Service to military personnel on the 364 other days of the year? YES. By all means.

Speeches to passengers on flights that day?
Not at all appropriate.

I did not lose anyone on that awful day.
But I doubt my opinion would be different if I had.

We do not honor those we lost by letting politicians
and others make public appearances.
Or by constant television coverage of their public grandstanding.
and media events masquerading as ceremonies.

We honor them by our private thoughts, prayers and deeds.

3 comments on “About the 10-year anniversary on Sept. 11
  1. Graciel says:


    you’re spot on.

    amen, again.

  2. BnonB says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for putting my thoughts into words.

  3. Thanks for that support; it’s not that popular an opinion, I thought, but maybe I was wrong.

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