dissenting opinions: a thought on september 11 and people who want me to get over it
I came across this site today: September 11 Photoblog: Photograph your Life
The man behind this project writes:
I've been thinking about September 11th. I've been thinking about the United States response - The Patriot Act. Invading Afganastan & Iraq. Death. Fear. Oppression.
It seems to me that this is NOT the America I want the world to know. So I propose a blogwide Photoblog your Life day on September 11th. Take your camera with you. Take pictures. Show the world your life. Show the world your daily delights. Show the world that we choose life, happiness and freedom.
On September 11th, I'll be carrying my camera with me. I'll snap pictures of my day - the good, the bad, the mundane. And I'm gonna post them here for the world to see. Let's make September 11th a day of affirmation and life.
I suppose the first thing that irritated me was, well, the first sentence. I'm not sure what the author thinks the response should have been. Death and fear? The most death and fear I've seen was right there and then, in New York, on September 11, 2001. The fear came not from the White House, but from the image of two planes gliding into the World Trade Center.
Oppression? The country that has played host to thousands of anti-war and anti-Bush protests is oppressing people? You don't know oppression, buddy. Try Iran.
And it's not only that the author takes such a hard line against Bush's reaction to 9/11, it's that he's using his anti-Bush sentiments and 9/11 together to, what? Why, to show the world that we choose life, happiness and freedom. Most of us do this almost every day. And some of us mourn on the days we don't. Be it the anniversary of your great grandmother's death, or a year to the day since your beloved dog died, we all take those days and mourn and remember in the way that is most comfortable to us.
September 11 is more than a personal tragedy. It's a day that will forever be a reminder of the worst thing that has happened to America. Why choose this date for a project like this? You can affirm life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness every day if you choose to do so.
Back up a little to the original post I saw the project linked at and I think I can figure out what really got my blood pressure up about this. In the comments:
I'm so sick of hearing about September 11. Yes, it was horrible, but our lives are going on. I think that photoblog is going to be a good way to show that. Very positive. :)
:: Crankydragon :: July 3, 2003 09:25 AM ::
Sick of hearing about it? As if it were an annoying fad or bad pop culture moment that can just be waved off? Never get sick of hearing about. Never. Because we can never afford to forget.
The project author then chimed in the same comments:
I tried to think of how the US must look to the rest of the world. And I wanted to do something about it. To show that we are people - the same as them.
So I'm **NOT** trying to disrespect those who lost. I just trying - in my simple way - to show others that the outcome of the Sept 11th tragedy DOES NOT have to be more death & hate. That somewhere in that horrific day could be the seed of a little understanding. And maybe a way to leave the world a bit better then we left it.
I don't understand how everyone taking pictures of their mundane lives is going to sow the seeds of understanding. And you know what? For the most part, we are not like them. Not by a long shot. We are not like the people of Iran who can't speak ill of their leaders. We are not like the people of Liberia. We are not like socialists or communists or the people who live in fear of the very people who are supposed to protect them. We are not like them at all, because we have freedom. We can dissent without fear, regardless of what you may believe.
The outcome of 9/11 was not death and hate. The cause of 9/11 was hate. Hatred for the United States and hatred for our freedoms. As someone who was personally effected by the events of that day, I reserve my right to hate those who carried out those cowardly acts. I don't want to understand them. I don't want to understand their followers who danced with joy at the death of thousands of Americans. I don't want to understand those who raise their children to be martyrs for a religion of hate. I don't want to be like them. Not at all.
On September 11, I will be at the cemetery with my father, visiting the burial spots of some of his long-time friends, the ones who gave their lives in the tumbling towers on that autumn day, as that is one of the things I'll be doing in my quest to never forget. And then I'll go home and tie a brand new yellow ribbon around my tree right over the old, worn one and send my thanks to the troops for protecting the freedoms that I have and mourn those who lost their lives doing so. The freedoms which some people seem to think don't exist in the post 9/11 world.
I'll take pictures of my day and post in on my photoblog. I'll call it September 11 Photoblog: Photograph Your Thanks. You can all join me if you want.