I'd have a lot more reverence for that phrase if it wasn't so often used as a justification. An excuse for the authoritarian stone fuck that has been the function of government these past five years. Imagine the dishonor to anyone who lost life, limb, or loved ones five years ago today, to have the tragedy that befell them used in such a manner. Three thousand people lost their lives that day, and this nation has shamed them all; especially those who died in heroism.
The patriotism that rose in the wake of the attacks was genuine for some, or in fact most, I'm sure. But I apologize that it felt hollow for me from the beginning. United We Stand became a buzz word. The flag became fashion sense.
Let me illustrate for you the sight that summed it all up for me. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to witness it. A pickup truck on the highway, going 70 miles an hour. In the bed is an apparatus from which a full-sized American flag is flying. And the force of the wind tears it to tatters.
The events of September 11, 2001 were a terrible human tragedy. And to allow what has happened since then as a result to obscure that in our thoughts is to do a great disservice to the memory of those who fell to them. If the phrase "9/11" has become a buzz word then perhaps we ought to discard it for their sake. We scarcely need it to remember them.