June 2021


Briefly thinking about 9/11

9/11 MemorialIt’s been 10 years since the awful events of September 11th, 2001.

I’ve pondered the event quite a bit over the last week – the news is pushed on me by mass media – and I’ve come to the conclusion that 9/11 changed the United States and the world that I know in only stupid and superficial ways.

I’ll grant that some of the basic changes were good – like the hardening of cockpit doors on aircraft – but overall the response to 9/11 suggests to me that the terrorists have won.

In fact, every time I travel through an airport and I take my shoes off at security, and take out a baggie with my liquids, I’m pretty sure that the terrorists won.

Every tTiles for Americaime I hear “God Bless America” at a baseball game, I’m certain that the terrorists have won.

Feeling threatened by terrorism, the United States of America pours an obscene amount of money into anti-terrorist activities despite the fact that far more people die in car accidents every year than die in terrorist attacks.

I’ve been feeling more and more angered by the response to 9/11 but I couldn’t understand why for a long time – and then I heard Jens Stoltenberg, the Norwegian Prime Minister, respond to the bombing and mass shooting earlier this year and I was moved:

We will all expect one another to champion the fundamental values of the Norwegian “we”.
This is how we will deepen and develop our response to terrorism and violence.
The answer is even more democracy.
Even more humanity.
But never naivity.

Wouldn’t it have been something if the United States hadn’t recoiled in fear and instead had projected outward with the inherent strength of democracy and the inherent strength of humanity?

1 comment to Briefly thinking about 9/11

  • I’m 9/11’d out. I’m tired of hearing about it, seemingly unable to get away from it.

    This is not a lack of sympathy to those who had huge impacts from that day, but I mean, come on, it’s been 10 years. Remember, but we don’t need 24-hour coverage of this anniversary every day for a week on TV, The families of the World Trade Center victims have become huge attention whores, effectively blocking for a decade most significant progress on rebuilding the site in lower Manhattan, etc.

    After 1/10th of a century it’s time to move on and remember, like this country did with Pearl Harbor.