Fortunately I was able to attend however a brief - yet touching - memorial service on the 11th with my fellow responders, many of whom also responded to the attacks at Ground Zero after 9/11.
For this blog, I did not want the occasion to pass however without a mention. And dare I say...it needs a mention.
In catching up with some of the blogs I read for amusement and the blogs I read for insight, I noted that the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were not - if seldom - mentioned. Why I wonder? 2,751 of our USA countrymen perished at the hands of another 7 years ago and many of us swore we would never forget. Remember?
Perhaps we need to move on without the annual morose, dramatic and politicized reminder? Or perhaps we don't want to be reminded at all because it conflicts with a riveting episode of Dancing with The Stars? Legitimately too, in the past 7 years since the attacks, so many distractions have captured our attention, many requiring the prompt attention to the living; to the here and to the now. Babies, jobs, crashing economy ... and stuff. Is it possible to remember the past and still attend to the present and future with equal respect and duty?
At 8:46am on the 11th of this year, what was America doing? Last year? Does it matter? Will it matter when another attack occurs on US soil?
Memorials and similar observances help us remember, that is the point after all. Many of us were not alive when President Kennedy was killed, but I suspect that the citizens that were connected with our country at that time do not need an official memorial to pay homage to the moment that changed our country's direction. Same with Pearl Harbor survivors, etc.
I have long believed that what resides in our hearts and minds is imminently more important than some contrived event, festival or public display. So I for one understand the people who chose to keep their remembrances to themselves. How many does that apply to? After all, like weddings and funerals, they are chiefly for the witnesses; the principle players can or have done their part without an audience.
But I digress...
There is no legitimate doubt who carried out the attacks against us. And there is no doubt what they have in common with each other.
Across the pond in Britain, 50,000 Britons are converting to Islam each year and since 2001, nearly 1/2 million Britons have converted to Islam, or roughly the city of Ft. Worth Texas. The Muslim population in Britain has reached 2 million.
In 2007, the world's Muslim population was estimated at 1.8 billion, 7 million of which live in the United States. Of those Americans, nearly 20% are converts to Islam, not having been born into the religion. For obvious reasons, the percentage al-Qaeda terrorist's within the US Muslim population is unknown. It should also be noted that while not all Muslim's are terrorists, all terrorists seem to be Muslim. One doesn't have to be McGruff the Crime Dog to see the clue in that finding.
Now, lest I be labelled a bigot, being a Muslim is no more wrong than being a Christian. Long time readers can read the subtext here, I'm sure. There are a percentage of bad Christians, bad men, bad Chrysler's and bad Pad Thai everywhere. The troubling issue here is that the percentage of bad Muslim's seems to grow exponentially with the percentage of Muslim's in total. I'm not sure you can say that about other fringe elements mentioned.
Consider this...among a 2007 study of Muslim's in 4 predominately Muslim countries, the following sobering findings emerge:
- 70% of Muslim's support attacks against US Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf
- Only 3% of Pakistanis believe al-Qaeda was behind the 911 attacks
- Only 65% of Muslim's disapprove of attacks against civilians
If the even minded among you were to apply the same logic using similar circumstances but a different demographic (i.e., what percentage of Whites endorse the dragging death of a Black man?) then we would see that something is awry among the collective Muslim attitude. And that readers, deserves more than a passing glance.
To compound the problem, terrorists groups like Hezbollah and Hamas are also attracting new members because they are involved in 'social services' (to other Muslim's no doubt) and not just the wholesale killing of civilian targets (including Muslim's) like al-Qaeda is. In some circles it seems to be coming downright popular to be a US hating, US attacking, terrorist.
While some Muslim's have done a admirable job of trying to convince us that they do - in their own special way - condemn their fellow Muslim's for supporting terrorism, how do they explain the Muslim children in our schools that are "forbidden to sing American patriotic songs"? How are we supposed to react when a Muslim child confesses that her family "has a party every September 11th?" (yes, those are quotes).
Yes, 7 years have passed. And maybe 7 more will before we have another tangible reminder on our soil of what lengths our enemies will go to to hurt the innocent among us.
Is it worth us remembering? Or is it easier to forget and wait until THEY remind us?