A great many people today asked me what the date was, which suggest that the many efforts to make sure that we Never Forget are, perhaps, failing in some way. We seem to do better with Pearl Harbor. What that difference may say about the difference in rhetorical talents between George W. Bush and Winston Churchill I leave for you to decide.
I myself remember this day all too well, and my mourning, and remembering, are not just for those who died but also for the many hopes and dreams and plans that died that day. About a month before September 11, 2001, I attended a United Students Against Sweatshops conference in Chicago. I came back to Iowa pumped up and prepared to get all sorts of balls rolling. On September 12, 2001, I realized–or believed–that all those balls had to be dropped, because the only thing we could do now was to stop the war, or try to. That, of course, failed too.
The war is still here (the “first” Gulf War, it should be noted, never did end), and USAS is still around, too, so perhaps we haven’t failed entirely, but it sure seems that way some days–days like today most of all.