Where We Were Going, Where We Have Been

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.

One thought on “Where We Were Going, Where We Have Been”

  1. Here in Indiana, there were two sets of people waving American flags on separate highway overpasses on September 11th of this year. One group actually had sidewalk chalk and was writing down names as people drove by. I’m not sure if they were writing the names of passers-by, people who died in the attacks or people who have died in the war(s). Some calendars had the date listed as “patriot day”.

    With that said, I think that it’s true that every year the horror and significance of the date falls out of the general consciousness a little more.

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