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Zoethe

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Nine years on [Sep. 11th, 2010|12:01 pm]
Zoethe
This is a difficult entry to write, because it is about a difficult and tragic topic. But I feel that I must write it.

Nine years on from what was a tragic and stunning day, this country is still letting the terrorists win daily. We do this by continually picking at our own wound, by leaving a gaping hole in the heart of our largest city, and by letting fear-mongers and bigots set the national debate.

I am not denying the tragedy of bombing of the World Trade Center. I watched in horror as the footage was replayed time and time again. The loss of nearly 3,000 civilian lives at Ground Zero, as well as the loss of life at the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, threw families into unceasing grief. The collapse of the WTC towers shocked the whole country, and much of the world. It staggered us. It deserved outrage and grief and anger.

But a staggered USA should not have stopped at that stage. This is not the worst loss of innocents, the worst destruction at the hands of enemies the world has ever known. In World War II The Blitz killed over 43,000 Brits, half of them Londoners. They lived under a reign of terror that wasn't just an abstract possibility. It was repeated night after night.

And when it was over, they rebuilt. Because that's what you do. Or what you should do.

Instead, we have been so paralyzed by this one attack, and so willing to believe that our grief is unique in the history of the world, that instead of saying, "Screw you fundamentalist jerks; you can't make us live in fear," we have turned the damaged site into a continuing monument to fear.

Stop worrying about the mosque three blocks away being some kind of victory for the jihadists; the gaping hole of Ground Zero is the best victory monument we could possibly build for them. And it will continue to be so when it's turned into a couple reflecting pools and a park. For decades, people will be able to point to that area and say, "That's where the USA handed over prime real estate to radical Islam."

In London, people will point out sites where buildings were completely destroyed in The Blitz. They are blocks on which new buildings have been built and where life has carried on. The lives lost are still a part of their history, but they are not paralyzed by it.

We do not honor the fallen dead by surrendering the heart of New York City to the effects caused by the hijackers. We instead hand victory to the jihadists by fostering that wound into a cultural stigmata. It's time to defy them by rebuilding and refusing to live in terror.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2010-09-11 04:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

In an individual, this remaining stuck in a state of shock and grief would be deemed pathological.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:25 pm (UTC)
Good point.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2010-09-11 04:05 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yes yes yes.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks
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[User Picture]From: kittyb90
2010-09-11 04:12 pm (UTC)
Agree.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: rogue1717
2010-09-11 04:17 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you. This has been a 9 year long funeral service. It's time to move on with our lives.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:36 pm (UTC)
Exactly
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[User Picture]From: custardfairy
2010-09-11 04:21 pm (UTC)
This. Would you mind if I linked this on my LJ?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:28 pm (UTC)
I never mind linking. Go right ahead.
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[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2010-09-11 04:22 pm (UTC)
As you often do, it's like you wrote exactly what I was thinking. May I share?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:29 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. You always have permission; I just like a heads-up so I can read comments!
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2010-09-11 04:37 pm (UTC)
To be fair it was easier for the Brits to rebuild because the people who were bombing them were gone and not coming back.

If you were to build an office building there no company would insure it and no company would move into it.

If the IRA had been blowing up building in London they would have been much, much less quick to rebuild for fear the IRA would just bomb the same site twice.
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[User Picture]From: k425
2010-09-11 05:01 pm (UTC)
That depends on your definition of "blowing up buildings". The IRA planted bombs in buildings, in cars, in bins and other places. Buildings included the Hilton (twice), the Houses of Parliament, Earl's Court exhibition centre, Harrods, railway stations (some more than once), pubs.

30 St Mary Axe and Canary Wharf in London, and the centre of Manchester, look as they do now due in no small part to the terrorist bombings of the last 40 years. The rebuilding in Manchester started almost immediately.

ETA: Thinking on, the first Manchester bombing was in 1992, close to the city centre; the second in 1996, right in the city centre, just 2 weeks before the Discworld convention took place. There were very few cancellations. Most of the rebuilding was complete by the end of 1999.

Edited at 2010-09-11 05:15 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: esper3k
2010-09-11 04:44 pm (UTC)
Well said!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: dydan
2010-09-11 04:54 pm (UTC)
THIS right here is why I love reading you!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:34 pm (UTC)
I have disagreed with the idea of an extensive memorial park idea for a long time.
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[User Picture]From: joemorf
2010-09-11 05:09 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear!

~j
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2010-09-11 05:36 pm (UTC)
Well said!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2010-09-11 05:43 pm (UTC)
I get this, I absolutely get this and theoretically, I don't disagree with it but.... (you knew that was coming, right)

One of the things you hear people say is that people west of Philly don't completely get what it was like and what it continues to be like. I think that is both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, it's good to have someone around to slap you in the face once in a while and tell you to snap out of your funk.

On the other hand, how do you tell someone who has lost a limb in an act of violence that it's time for them to get over it and move on? Do we tell that person that the criminals won because they still mourn the loss of that limb? Is is it wrong or sick that after 40 years there are still times that I shed tears for the loss of my father.

In many ways folks around here have; there are charities and works of art that have grown out of a topic that many people couldn't even think about without tears welling up in their eyes. There is compromise over what will be done with the site where the towers stood. It's become a sad fact of life as opposed to an open weeping sore.

The racism against people of color who are Muslim is something that I think has always been there, I think it's a direct descendant of the "Yellow Peril" rhetoric of the 19th century and discrimination against poor European immigrants in the early part of the 20th century.

This just gives folks a chance to go public with it while cloaking it in the shroud of "being patriotic".

Rather than the Blitz I've away thought to September 11th in the came category of Pearl Harbor and The Murragh Building: sites where Americans died on Americans died on American soil at the hands of aggressors who held a different ideology. Places that are still sites of pilgrimage and mourning.

Do I think the terrorists won? I think they won the battle long ago when they realized how disorienting and demoralizing this attack would be.

Will they win the war? I don't know, I hope not but I also think the jury is still out on that.

So I get what you say and I don't disagree with it, I just don't think I'm with you 100% on this.

Edited at 2010-09-11 05:45 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: rogue1717
2010-09-11 06:28 pm (UTC)
I've away thought to September 11th in the came category of Pearl Harbor and The Murragh Building: sites where Americans died on Americans died on American soil at the hands of aggressors who held a different ideology. Places that are still sites of pilgrimage and mourning.


But we still honor Pearl Harbor and even stuff like the Holocaust. Just not with and ongoing yearly nothing else at all on the tv round the clock coverage showing the old graphic footage that's already burned into our memories. You can honor something without shoving it down the nation's throat and the analogy of scab picking.

I'm all for memorials and grieving if you need to, but there comes a time when you need to lift up your head and move forward with your life. Remember what happened, but keep moving forward. The US is stuck and hasn't really been allowed to move forward.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-09-11 06:04 pm (UTC)
A Long Time Ago when I visited London, I remember being in some Underground station and seeing a poster. I wish I could remember the exact words, but the gist was: If you were standing here reading this at [specific date and time during the Blitz], you would be dead.

But for that poster, it looked like any other Underground station.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: amigone
2010-09-11 06:05 pm (UTC)
I'd like to link this, please.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-09-11 08:21 pm (UTC)
Feel free. Thanks.
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