Shippensburg's 9/11 Commemoration
"With more than 6,500 American flags flying at Shippensburg University today (Sept. 11), hundreds of people honored the men and women who gave their lives in defense of the U.S. and freedom during the war on terror.
"Under a bright blue sky that belied the solemnness of the event, veterans, current service personnel, members of the campus and the Shippensburg community — everyday Americans all — joined to remember and thank those whose sacrifice keeps us safe and free...
"Guest speakers talked of honor, of service, of duty, but most of all they talked about the men and women who serve and our nation’s need to support — and remember — all our veterans."
Right now, the United States is engaged in a war in Afghanistan that is a direct response to the 9/11 attacks. One could also argue that, despite the deceptions involved, Iraq is related because 9/11 was an important milestone in the chain of events which led us there. For both these reasons, as well as the fact that American veterans and active service members deserve all the support they get, this means of marking the anniversary of 9/11 makes sense.
In the long run, however, and given the existing Memorial Day and Veterans Day commemorations, I'd advocate a decisive move toward focusing on those who actually died that day: The police, fire fighters, and other "first responders" who risk their lives all the time with little public recognition of the fact. I also think this most resonates with understanding the type of organization that struck the U.S. nine years ago, which Juan Cole has, in a model I am increasingly in agreement with, characterized as a vigilante cult.
(Crossposted to American Footprints)