What's the "lesson" of 9/11?

Photo credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
Every year, I hear, especially since the 10th anniversary, “Remember 9/11! Never forget!” If we somehow forgot, we’d cease to be ‘vigilant’. I remember September 11, 2001 amazingly well, thank you. Just this summer, I was at highway rest stop on I-87, the Northway, not far from Albany, when I saw a memorial for three people who worked for the Department of Transportation, one of whom I knew not very well, who died on that day.

Even my daughter, who wasn’t even born then, knows about 9/11. Her third grade teacher made a point of making sure those eight year olds knew about it. It even got covered on the local cable channel, YNN.

But what is it that we should not forget? Since then, the United States has had two of its longest wars, including with a country that had nothing to do with the tragedy.

We have had a series of laws – such as the so-called USA PATRIOT Act, which was passed less than six weeks after the tragedy, suggesting it was already in the hopper – that has directly led to the surveillance of Americans. OK, not on Americans, just our “metadata” involving our snail mail, and phones, and e-mail. The feds tell web firms to turn over the encrypted user account passwords, just in case they need them, but they’re not going to use them without cause, and a (rubber stamp) court order. Of course.

Whether or not soldiers have been fighting for our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s abundantly clear that freedom is being stolen at home by secret courts and executive overreach, against the wishes of most Americans. If the lesson of 9/11 is that we’ll do anything to be safe, that would be yet another tragedy.

4 thoughts on “What's the "lesson" of 9/11?”

  1. one of the great post-9/11 ironies was that we were attacked because the terrorists’ “hate our freedom.” fast-forward a little bit and our government seems to hate our freedom too because in the name of combating terrorism we, uh, had many of our freedoms hacked away. i’m sure they’ll all be restored, though, once the GOP has the White House and can truly be the voice of Concerned Americans everywhere…

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  2. It’s quite the double-edge sword we have now, isn’t it? Gone are the days of innocently assuming our country is immune from terrorists that want to destroy our way of life. That’s painfully obvious, especially on this day. Yet, what actions are appropriate to protect our way of life? We all hate the inconvenience of the TSA and the way government is overstepping their boundaries in many areas. But does ignoring the possibility of another disaster justify the end result when something horrific happens? I suppose it’s the price we have to now pay to live in a country free of oppressive government dictatorships. I see more people risking their lives to get into this country than those trying to escape it so evidently we’re still the best game in town.

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  3. The lesson of Nine Eleven is, don’t trust the elites. They are liars, and their agenda is much different than the goals and aspirations of the American people. Because the elites are such liars, we may never know the real story behind Nine Eleven.

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