Remembering 9/11: Don't Ever Forget the September 11th World Trade Center Attacks
Remembering 9/11: Don’t Ever Forget
Every generation, beginning with the founding of our country has been defined by the national security events and our country’s reactions to them at the time. From the Revolutionary War, to the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War each generation has had to evolve and adapt to each situation -- whether they liked it or not.
The attacks of 9/11 are no different.
While each national security threat may have differed in context to the times (some more than others) one thing has stayed the same: our ability to come together, put aside our differences and unite against devastatingly egregious violations against our national sovereignty and livelihood.
For this very reason, 9/11 should always be remembered and should always be regarded as a time for national reflection.
This week, as I was watching coverage leading up to this year's 9/11 commemorative ceremonies, I was shocked to read one commentator, E.J. Dionne, in particular, suggest that it was time to leave the day behind....
Tell that to the families -- to the firemen and policemen’s children -- who will never know their parents, to spouses who have to live each and everyday without their loved ones because of a lack of foresight or preparation for such an event to occur. Tell that to the soldiers fighting abroad to defend and protect against another 9/11 from happening.
With the coming of this somber occasion, politicos have taken time to reflect on where we are versus where we were politically, economically and diplomatically when the attacks of 9/11 occurred....
Politically, many question whether government has taken a turn for the worst. In an interview with former New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Mike Barnacle, a regular fixture of MSNBC’s Morning Joe wondered whether this Congress would be able to put aside partisan rhetoric to unite the country were another 9/11 to occur.
The truth of the matter is that partisanship has been an inherent trait of politics beginning with the Founding Fathers. Alexander Hamilton had strongly conflicting beliefs on the function of government in contrast to those of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson that are still reflected in our two-party system. The strongest example that comes to mind is the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr which at its height lead to an actual duel in which Burr actually shot Hamilton.
Regardless of the duel between Hamilton and Burr, politicians of the time and thereafter moved forward and continued to work together for the common good of Americans.
When it comes to the issue of politics, the pre-9/11 versus post-9/11 environment is not worse, but different. Post-9/11 we’ve seen the formation of the Tea Party. What the Tea Party stands for and the longevity of its relevance is still evolving, but it’s this new addition to the political environment, and politicians’ reactions and opposition to it, that is most evident in a post-9/11 world.
The reason political rhetoric is so heated among politicians is not because of idle hatred. It’s the inherent passion of public servants to want to improve upon our most fundamental values. Call me naïve, call me an optimist, but it’s the aggressive belief of each party that its base principles will lead to a more prosperous America that such heated rhetoric occurs.
Perhaps the political impact of 9/11 should be to remember that in spite of such strong differences on either side of the aisle on how to fix America’s problems, at the end of the day we are all Americans. And that in the face of devastating acts, such as those that occurred on 9/11 there are real enemies to American prosperity with greater, much worse intentions than the right policy on how to make social security solvent.
Economically, many who opposed the Iraq war that resulted from 9/11, see it as an unnecessary and detrimental allocation of the national budget that has lead to our current debt problems. In reality, our economic problems are a result of many flawed financial policies spread over numerous presidents and agendas.
As Washington Post columnist, Charles Krauthammer put it, “As for the Great Recession and financial collapse, you can attribute it to misguided federal policy pushing homeownership through risky subprime lending. To Fannie and Freddie. To greedy bankers, unscrupulous lenders, naive (and greedy) home buyers. To computer-enabled derivatives so complicated and interwoven as to elude control.”
You could say that 9/11 may have just prolonged the inevitable. When George W. Bush took office, his Administration was ready to focus on domestic issues. But with 9/11, his presidency was obligated to react to that specific situation. 9/11 exposed an enemy that the United States and presidents before him had not taken seriously or considered viable threats. And that because of 9/11, future Administrations will be quicker to react.
Diplomatically, many Clinton-advocates criticized George W. Bush’s hard-line approach. While many claim Bush should have continued the appeasement-style of Bill Clinton, his negotiating and ability to compromise did not prevent the plan of attack from occurring.
And, despite the praised diplomatic skill of President Barack Obama, the potential for September 11th attacks occurring this year -- a decade after 9/11 -- are still being seriously reported.
This is our Cold War. As I stated before, every major national security threat has defined generations -- Pre-Cold War, Cold War, and Post-Cold War.
Almost immediately following 9/11, students of international relations, diplomacy and military tactics had an entirely new aspect to consider, that of international terrorism. The enemy doesn’t fight according to the laws of conventional warfare, and has innately aggressive means, ideology and fervor with which to achieve victory.
Perhaps we don’t need to be devastatingly sad, but 9/11 and its significance in the history of the United States as the first international attack on American soil should always be remembered and reflected upon.
With all politics and bias aside, to forget 9/11 would be offensively insensitive to the men and women who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks: the men and women who just thought it was going to be a normal day at the office, for the public servants, policeman and firemen who showed the utmost bravery trying to help those in need, and to the soldiers who have and will continue to fight for the very freedoms we so easily take for granted everyday.
Contact Alyssa Bonk at firstname.lastname@example.org
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