As 9/11 is slowly moving from people’s hearts and minds into the history books, a new breed of over-the-top contrived remembrances is moving in to replace real emotions with idiotic flag-waving, Facebook picture sharing and posing with meaningless signs.
Really? Whom are these signs addressed to? Did someone doubt that you will never forget and you are trying to reassure him?
There are plenty of human tragedies that are now just dates on the calendar. Events which a lot greater loss of life like the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War, Korean War are still remembered but with a lot more sincerity and lot less pomp. As the survivors and participants of these events pass on, the emotional connection is lost and no amount of chest-thumping can bring it back. This is how life works. Real feelings cannot be produced by slogans.
Slogans are needed for other things, like keeping people in fear, or anger, or giving them false choices. Slogans are needed to keep people under control, seeking revenge, looking for someone to blame. Slogans are good in time of war, to get the adrenalin going, encourage sacrifice, unite against an enemy.
Without slogans people forget why they should be angry, and the Jews move to Germany, Americans buy Japanese cars, and Yankees vacation in Florida.
There is no threat of 9/11 being forgotten any time soon. My kid was 4 when it happened. Just like every living American she knows what it is, but like most kids her age she doesn’t remember.
What she doesn’t remember, she can never forget. I guess the signs are true after all.