Monday, September 11, 2006
Another anniversary of this very tragic day, and I just wanted to say that I understand the motives of everyone writing posts about it. However, I think the best way to memoralize the dead is to contribute to various organizations that help military personnel and their families.
People can legitimately disagree about the ways we've chosen to fight back since 9-11, but I don't think anyone can legitimately argue that 9-11 meant we were going to have to fight back. And no diplomatic effort is going to work if we don't have the Armed Forces to back it up. They are the point of the awl that any possible US administration would use to craft a response. The reason is simple - the terrorists (still boasting!) who did this are capable of exerting great force in their home countries, and if we were not to make it clear that we will, if necessary, oppose them with force no diplomatic endeavor could succeed. Indeed, such endeavors would only provide talking points for the terrorists.
The thing about the point of an awl is that it experiences great pressure. I would like to urge everyone writing about this to also donate to one of the organizations set up to help defuse that pressure on the military, because it is not we who respect the dead of 9-011 - it is they. These are the people who are crafting a fitting memorial to 9-11, with their lives and their futures. All those who serve, all those who have and will join, all those who reactivated, all those who have been injured, all those who have died - and all of their families - have built and are building a memorial on which we cannot improve.
Here are some options:
Army Emergency Relief
Kevin of Strategy Revolutions (who has been over in Iraq) wrote this on his blog not too long ago:
"Genius is an infinite capacity for taking life by the scruff of the neck."--Katherine HepburnThey have and they do, because they truly remember. They are not the ignorant fools that our press makes them out to be. They are aware and largely educated, thinking people who have looked this situation in the face and decided what they were going to do about it. They hear what is being said and read what is being written, and they know that our society will never even grant them recognition for what they are doing. They still do it.
Well anyways, we all have this power; we have it spiritually, we have it emotionally, and we have it intellectually. I say this because taking your life by the scruff of the neck means taking responsibility; and all the grit and grime that come with life.
Taking responsibility is great for your life. I have to say that sometimes responsibility means looking at the unpleasant side of things. If you want to be better at anything; you'll have to get your hands dirty; really dirty.
So it's up to us, and it really doesn't matter whether you think any particular initiative in the War on Terror is correct. That's for us to fight out here at home. They are fighting abroad to give us the most choices and the most opportunities to build an effective response to this new enemy that they can, and it is up to us to use those choices and opportunites wisely. It's up to us to live up to them. It's up to us to get off our ego-horses and take our lives and our country into our own hands. If we're working civilian jobs, we owe it to them to do those well. If we're voting, we'll have to give it all our thought. When we're writing, we should think deeply about our words and the implications of them.
And we owe them, and everyone should at least make a token payment to acknowledge that.