September 11, 2008

I hate when September 11 rolls around.

This year I might only hate the date a bit less because I am spending the day with my lovely daughter and am reminded about the things in life that matter. Clich├ęd, but true. Having a focus of unalloyed and unlimited love doesn't change my sharp memory of the day or of the aftermath, or its impact on me in numerous ways, but it does mitigate it.

The near-total failure of the political response to the attacks over the last 7 years, the ongoing failure of the military response, the increasing examples of corruption and incompetence in government and business that were allowed in the shadow of 9-11, the useless war launched, the obvious reality that our country is adrift and flailing if not actually failing, also has transformed my feelings about the day's meaning.

What, in the end, did the day reveal other than that there is nothing that occurs here that can't be fed into the machine of ambition, deceit, and stupidity, and exploitation that lords heavily over this country? The current lack of discussion of actually new directions in this presidential campaign is a sign that no, nothing changes.

Sure, the stories of personal heroism and sacrifice and loss are there, are real, and are tragic. But we've heard them repeatedly, memorialized them, celebrated them. Isn't it time that that we actually tried to respond in ways that at least honored such sacrifice and loss?

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