Tuesday, September 11, 2012

too soon

more than six years ago i wrote this:
9/11 is such a politically charged event for us. it is evoked by all sorts of people to justify almost anything. no national politician hasn't brought it up in a speech repeatedly in the past four and one-half years.

in that context, we've buried the raw horror of the event until the mountain of policy decision that followed. it's really difficult to remember that day without also remember a whole lot of other things too. we see 9/11/01 through a lense of wars, government reorganizations, surveillance, detainee issues, etc. politicians use images of 9/11 to evoke certain feelings in us, but their use of it also changes what we feel about the day. it conflates what happened with what came after in our minds.
i figured that eventually that would all change. the political aftermath would fade into the background while the historic event itself would stay. judging from what i've heard and read today, that hasn't happened yet. i guess eleven years isn't enough.

(i'm not trying to criticize anyone here. i don't think, for example, that there's anything wrong with pointing out that the event was used by people to cause the deaths of millions of people who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. i'm just making an observation about behavior rather than casting judgment on it. i'm noting that today hasn't lost its political charge yet. most americans don't point fingers at their political opponents about pearl harbor anymore. we can debate whether FDR had advance knowledge of the attacks or not, without a political faction feeling like it needs to defend the former president. pearl harbor is history. 9/11 isn't there yet.)