-Osama bin Laden
An old man and his family walk on a sunny day to a graveyard and the family stands back, respectfully as he walks alone through the thousands of markers, looking for one. We see the sun behind an American flag and a French flag, a beautiful summer day. He finds it finally, and falls to his knees as if his legs were cut out from under him. He seems helpless, weeping, as his wife runs up to him and his family comes close to comfort him.
Why pay so much attention to this day? Why keep repeating the events, why bring them up so often? It was a tragedy, there were many killed and it was shocking, but in the big scheme of things, 2996 people dying in an event is not even the biggest single tragedy in American history. It happened in New York City and to the Pentagon, it happened thousands of miles from us, a plane crash in a field on the East Coast. Yes, its sad for those families, but let's move on,
There are two motivations for this attitude. The first is a real desire to not brood on horrible events because it is depressing and not a little frightening. It's unsettling to remember murderous savages want to slaughter or subjugate us all to a crushing tyranical religion. Memorials simply bring this back up and we'd rather not think about it. Let's play video games, watch football, go hunting, anything rather than remembering that day again.
The second is a real desire to avoid considering the consequences and meaning of these events. If we think about 9/11's events and the men who did it too much, we might realize the actions that virtue and ethics require. We might have to support the man who some consider a monster, a tyrant, and an idiot all at once - President Bush. We might have to realize that we're in a fight for our lives, for civilization, and for liberty against a remorseless enemy who holds almost none of our cultural values and cares nothing for our system of morality.
The kind of enemy that is more than willing to take advantage of our generosity, tolerance, and willingness to accept the different in order to destroy those very values and crush us under their brutal regime.
The old man stands at the gravestone, later. He looks back and sees his family standing at a short distance, waiting. He kneels again, this time as carefully as his arthritic bones will allow. "My family is with me today" he begins, as if speaking to the stone. "They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I wasn't sure how I'd feel coming back here. Every day I think of what you said to me on that bridge, and I've tried to live my life the best I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that at least in your eyes I've earned what all of you have done for me
He stands, looking ahead, unable to speak any more. His wife asks who it was, and we see the stone reads Captain John Miller. One of the men who saved Private Ryan.Private Ryan is a fictional character, as were all the soldiers he fought with. They did not exist, but the men who they represented did, as did the courage, the ideals, and the reasons they fought. Men like Private Ryan to this day look at their past and consider what great price was paid so they could live and be free, and think about whether their lives have been worthy of such a sacrifice.
-Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas
The men and women who died on that sunny morning five years ago were not fighting in a war, as far as they knew. Few of them were soldiers except the ones who died in the Pentagon. But they were in a war, a war started by terrorists against everyone who dares to think differently, everyone who will not bow their knee to Allah, against freedom and against the culture and civilization of the west.
The reason we remember and honor those dead is because they were mercilessly slaughtered on the altar of Islamofascism, murdered to advance the goals and ideals of a people who we still fight today. And each one of them died in that war, a war to end freedom, to subjugate or slaughter all who disagree. A war that seeks to conquer the world and place it under the banner of a radical, extremist Islam that loathes everything we stand for.
Their deaths, those tragic, even frightening events remind us of what we fight for, why we are in this struggle. The memorials and testimonials wake us up, keep us from becoming complacent, from presuming we can stop now, that we're just making them mad, that we can negotiate, reason with them. Their answer is not negotiation; it is the sword, the gun, the bomb. We are facing an enemy that will not be reasoned with, because their motivations and goals have nothing to do with reason. They did not arrive at their position by careful, logical analysis, and they cannot be moved from that position by it.
We remember these events on 9/11 not out of ghoulish fascination or desire to exploit, but out of a real need to sear in our memories the enemies we fight.
CavalierX on Five Years Ago
Brain Terminal, the Crystal Morning video
John Hawkins' essays on 9/11 through the years
*more as the day progresses
Al`Qaeda's 9/11 memorial video at Hot Air
From Don't Hire Deborah Frisch, this comment remembering 9/11 (other stories there as well, check them out):
As they began to show footage from people that were at GZ during and immediately after the Towers collapsed, we heard it. It is a sound all firemen know and all firemen dread hearing. I was asked if I heard all the car alarms going off. In the dead silence that followed the collapse, you heard it piercing through the smoke and dust.
Those were not car alarms you hear in the videos my friends. Those are what we call P.A.S.S. alarms. They are what is activated on a downed fireman. You can activate them on your own or after you have not moved for over 30 seconds. They are mounted on the SCOTT S.C.B.A. breathing apparatuses.
Each and every one of those tweeting sounds you hear on those tapes is a downed, and more than likely, dead fireman. That is the sound that pierces my very soul. There were alot of them going off."
Lorie Byrd's Remember 9/10
Bill Whittle: Happy Anniversary
President Bush's speech on 9/11
President Bush's speech on 9/20
President Bush's 9/11/06 speech