Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to Remember 9/11

Tomorrow will be Sept 11, 2011--10 years after Islamic extremists flew two aircaft into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and crashed one in a field in Pennsylvania. For a lot of people, tomorrow will be a big event. I'm not one of them. Romans 14:5 says (in part), "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike." I confess that I am one of the latter type. I don't really see how the 3,657th day after this event is all that different from the day on either side of it, but I don't fault those who do. Obviously, this day means a lot to many of my fellow Americans. 

Today, I saw on television that there are folks that believe the NFL should cancel its games tomorrow and force Americans to reflect on the 10th anniversary of this attack on our country.  I ask these people, "Why do you want to cancel football?" Does your television not get any other channels?   Didn't it come with an "Off" switch? You are free to watch football, not watch football, or start your own network that shows exactly what you want it to 24/7/365.

You may have noticed that I have a major problem with this request (or is it a demand?) Those who know me know that I care not one whit about football because I would rather do just about anything than watch something. This isn't about me, however, and it isn't about football. It's about recovering from that horrible day, and it's about freedom.

In my opinion, the best way to recover is to show the perpetrators that they were unable to change us. I believe we have failed on that front. Terrorists seek to create fear. 9/11 scared us. Because of our fear, we grew government by a significant amount. Because of fear, we allow strangers in bright blue shirts to touch our wives and children in ways that would get the average citizen thrown in jail. In return, we get a promise that the government will try to make us more secure. By cancelling football--even for a day--we continue to send the message that they have changed us. We send the message that they have won.   Is that your intent?

The second problem I have with this request/demand is personal freedom.  I understand that different people heal differently, and that you may not want to watch football. Fine by me, but why foist your methods on others? Why is your one-size-fits-all solution better than someone else's solution? If I recall my HS history class correctly, this country was founded on freedom. That's freedom to do what you want to do as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Nowhere does it say that you have the freedom to dictate the lives of others.

Thirdly, lest we forget, there were normal things that happened on September the 11th. It's somebody's birthday, anniversary, or other special day. Would you tell them to postpone their special day because it happens to be on 9/11?  I wouldn't. 

It really doesn't matter to me how you remember 9/11.  All I ask is that you let me do it my way.  I promise it won't hurt you.