Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Posts Tagged ‘terror

September 11

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I can’t believe fifteen years have gone by since that day, since the deadliest and costliest single terrorist attack of its kind on non-military targets in the history of the world, since cowardly and murderous heretics decided senseless chaos and indiscriminate killing were the only ways to redemption. I can’t believe people born after the attack are in high school now. I can’t believe there are people voting in this upcoming election, where we are still dealing with the divisive ramifications of terrorism and national security, who may be too young to remember when this event even happened.

And I know many probably mean well when they brandish the flag and loudly tell us all to “never forget.” In reality, though, what almost all people saying “never forget” need to do is… STOP.

Stop saying “never forget.”

If you are not an actual victim of this attack, if you are not the relative or friend or colleague of someone who is or was a victim of this attack, if you didn’t spend hours or days after the attack struggling to make contact with everyone you knew from the four fateful flights or from the New York or Washington areas where these murders actually occurred to be certain everyone was accounted for, please stop saying “never forget.”

You have nothing to forget.

Those this profound tragedy directly touched would like nothing more than to forget, and yet how could they ever?

Everyone in the world with access to media on September 11, 2001 shared the experience of watching with utter confusion after the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, impacted the North Tower.

“Oh, no. That looks awful. Maybe a news helicopter lost control or something.”

Everyone in the world stood and screamed and swore aloud when they saw the second plane, United Airlines Flight 175 – a nearly fully fueled Boeing 767-200 aircraft with registration number N612UA, hurtling over Staten Island and plowing into the façade of the South Tower at nearly 600 miles per hour (950 km/h).

That initial dose of almost cinematic dystopia, along with perhaps giving blood to help victims that never emerged from the rubble, digging out an old American flag to display out front, and being glued to cable news coverage for the next year, two years, fifteen years… that’s about where the shared elements of this event end.

Answering the question of “Where were you when you first found out about the attacks?” with a sheepish “I had just finished wrecking the toilet at the Starbucks in the strip mall down the street from my house” eternally disqualifies you from telling anyone never to forget. The best thing someone like that can do is keep quiet. Keep quiet and step aside and allow those whose lives really were permanently altered by this crime to do the best they can to get through this day for one more year.

The last thing the surviving victims, families, friends, and colleagues need is to be reminded of the senseless, violent, and painful manner in which their loved ones died. The last thing they need is to be bombarded on traditional media and social media with 9/11 specials and 9/11 retrospectives and, perhaps tackiest and most heartbreaking of all, 9/11 sales. (Shame on that former mattress store in Texas for ever even considering such a thing. I hope the responsible parties never earn another dollar.) Why can’t people express their respect for the losses of others by giving them space? Why can’t people honor a terrible day by doing something other than making it about themselves?

The September 11 attacks weren’t perpetrated against the suburbs or against middle America or against capitalism or against “our freedom.” They were committed against visible symbols of American hegemony abroad by the brainwashed followers of a morally bankrupt group of lunatics who wanted nothing more than to get the attention of our government. It was never meant to be a rallying cry for those who’d been longing to score political points against “others” for decades.

There is no need to say “never forget” because how could anyone involved ever forget? I just wish the people who’ve been shouting “never forget” for the last fifteen years could say with confidence that they have ever learned.

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Written by Dave

September 11, 2016 at 12:35

Speechless and heartbroken

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I really wish that my first post back after a rotten week at work that took my time away from writing and breathing and sanity did not have to touch on a tragedy as painful, destructive, and avoidable as the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, a terrorist attack that targeted the already marginalized, the already vulnerable, the already oppressed LGBT community.

More than 100 people were killed or wounded early this morning by a radicalized excuse for a man whose pathetically easy access to gas-powered rifles of mass destruction was the real root cause of this senseless public health emergency. Yes, it’s a fact that we don’t take mental health seriously; yes, it’s a fact that radicalized Islamic terrorism is a real threat facing the entire world; however, there is no argument that ease of access to guns is the real problem here.

I’ll ignore for a moment the despicable reactions across social media, news comment sections, and out of the mouths of our moron politicians and focus entirely on this country’s gun fascination… its gun obsession… its apparent desire to bring back some chauvinistic Wild West fantasy that never existed.

It is my belief that the Second Amendment should have been altered when it was first written to state that the right to keep and bear arms applies only to citizens actively serving in militias. Since it doesn’t say that, and since case law has seemed to state that people have a right to own guns for any reason, it is not feasible at this point to ban guns outright. There are just too many out there. As a result, the process of buying a gun should be as difficult as possible to stem the embarrassing numbers of firearm homicides, accidents, and suicides in this country, numbers that disgracefully dwarf most other industrialized nations. Thorough background checks, training, psychological testing, and the closing of loopholes are all minimums for the gun purchase requirements I believe should exist.

Why is life, especially for those who love to bloviate about its so-called sanctity, less important than the anachronistic Second Amendment? Why are there so many people in this country who believe that killing with a firearm is a right so sacrosanct, perhaps bestowed by God, that it has no room for limit, common sense, or change of any kind? I have asked anyone who is connected to me on social media and feels this way to just unfriend or block me and save us both the pain and trouble the next time dozens more innocent people are cut down for no reason.

Can you hear my frustration? Can you hear my anguish?

What in the world is wrong with us? Why does nothing ever change?