Is 9/11 the New American National Holiday?

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Today is September 11th, 2008, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States.
It’s also the day after I started listening to Thomas Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America.

Although I’ve just begun it, the book talks a lot about post-9/11 America, missed opportunities and our focus on security over freedom and collaboration. As Friedman states it, since 9/11 America has been in a "defensive crouch"…not the best position for a country that considers itself to be a world leader.

Having just started the book, it’s hard to know if this is where Friedman’s argument will ultimately go, but it seems to me that 9/11 currently has more impact on our daily lives than July 4th.

9/11 is about fear, uncertainty and the desire for security. 7/4 is about freedom and democracy.
We can choose how we wish to be defined: are we about fear, or are we about democracy?

We all have gone through personal tragedies, or know someone who has–be they natural or man-made. Some people never truly recover, while others become stronger, even if they were scarred by the event. They don’t allow themselves to become defined by that event, except in the fact that they were able to overcome it and go on living.

I’ll continue to observe 9/11 and mourn those who died, but I refuse to let it cloud my vision about this country’s potential…about the principles it was founded on: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I choose to do what I can to focus on freedom; in the way I live, in the way I act, and in the way I vote. I hope you can do the same.

"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." — Ben Franklin

Rich Brooks
American

Photo Credit: Paul Goyette

  • http://www.twitter.com/amycasey amy casey

    Excellent observation. I have never contrasted the two days like that. I hope that with a regime change coming in America we can finally get to considering 9/11 a day of respectful tribute and not a tool in the politics of fear. I am tired of just the numbers "9" and "11" being code for "don't question us or you could die" or "if you don't agree, you clearly hate America."

    I keep meaning to post this link online, it's Freidman on Letterman earlier this week. Its a great conversation, and I had no idea how serious DL is about this topic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVmJpM_UFVs

  • http://www.twitter.com/amycasey amy casey

    Excellent observation. I have never contrasted the two days like that. I hope that with a regime change coming in America we can finally get to considering 9/11 a day of respectful tribute and not a tool in the politics of fear. I am tired of just the numbers "9" and "11" being code for "don't question us or you could die" or "if you don't agree, you clearly hate America."

    I keep meaning to post this link online, it's Freidman on Letterman earlier this week. Its a great conversation, and I had no idea how serious DL is about this topic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVmJpM_UFVs

  • http://www.twitter.com/amycasey amy casey

    Excellent observation. I have never contrasted the two days like that. I hope that with a regime change coming in America we can finally get to considering 9/11 a day of respectful tribute and not a tool in the politics of fear. I am tired of just the numbers "9" and "11" being code for "don't question us or you could die" or "if you don't agree, you clearly hate America."

    I keep meaning to post this link online, it's Freidman on Letterman earlier this week. Its a great conversation, and I had no idea how serious DL is about this topic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVmJpM_UFVs

  • Trish

    I agree with some parts but disagree with others. I agree that 9/11 shouldn't define America. I disagree with the "just move on" mentality. A lot of people died and are STILL dying from the 9/11 attacks in NYC. How can we "move on" if people still continue to get sick and die.
    Its not a case of living in fear now, its protecting what we made, this country, our people, our liberties. So now, we take a few more pre-cautions.

  • Trish

    I agree with some parts but disagree with others. I agree that 9/11 shouldn't define America. I disagree with the "just move on" mentality. A lot of people died and are STILL dying from the 9/11 attacks in NYC. How can we "move on" if people still continue to get sick and die.
    Its not a case of living in fear now, its protecting what we made, this country, our people, our liberties. So now, we take a few more pre-cautions.

  • http://www.flyte.biz Rich Brooks

    Trish,

    I'm not saying "just move on" at all. You can't protect our liberties by removing them. The laws that have been passed in the wake of 9/11 have removed a lot of the rights and liberties we used to take for granted.

    You also can't protect what we made by building up walls. Life continues to move forward, and if we go into a hibernation, locking away the rest of the world, we'll one day wake up and realize that the world has passed us by.

  • http://www.flyte.biz Rich Brooks

    Trish,

    I'm not saying "just move on" at all. You can't protect our liberties by removing them. The laws that have been passed in the wake of 9/11 have removed a lot of the rights and liberties we used to take for granted.

    You also can't protect what we made by building up walls. Life continues to move forward, and if we go into a hibernation, locking away the rest of the world, we'll one day wake up and realize that the world has passed us by.

  • http://www.flyte.biz Rich Brooks

    Trish,

    I'm not saying "just move on" at all. You can't protect our liberties by removing them. The laws that have been passed in the wake of 9/11 have removed a lot of the rights and liberties we used to take for granted.

    You also can't protect what we made by building up walls. Life continues to move forward, and if we go into a hibernation, locking away the rest of the world, we'll one day wake up and realize that the world has passed us by.

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