Why 9/11 is Not as Important as You Think

Don’t flame me, and as always, don’t take what I say here as fact. This is an opinion piece and you are allowed to hate it. I will delete your comment if it’s hateful for the sake of hate. Just a warning. The thing is, my Facebook feed, Twitter, Feedly, you name it, they are all FULL of God, hate, and sad/lonely feelings. You know why? Because it’s 9/11. I hate this. It was a sad day, yes, but guess what? I don’t give a fuck. It was ONE DAY.

Now, before you start hating me, let’s put some shit in perspective, okay? Do people fill your feed with sadness, or God, or anything on September 1st? No? How about December 12th? No? Really? Try April 19th? THIS is why I hate 9/11. It’s a fad. Really. Do you know what those dates are without Google? I do. December 12th, 1937 is the day the USS Panay was bombed in an attack from Japanese troops in China. This was the first attack of what would become WW2. Did you even know that this was an event? Let’s try September 1st, 1939 on for size, shall we? This was the day that Germany invaded Poland, bringing Europe into the war officially. Now, this is a big one. April 19th is the day Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Image courtesy of www.wrecksite.eu

USS Panay. Image courtesy of www.wrecksite.eu

The Oklahoma City bombing was the most destructive act of terrorism in America ever, until 9/11. Do you know why it bothers me that we focus so much on 9/11? It’s because it’s easy for us to hate Muslims. When the Oklahoma City bombing happened, people across the country sent money, volunteers, prayers, and love to Oklahoma City. What else happened? We hated Timothy McVeigh, and managed to forget that he had a total of three accomplices. We forgot it very quickly. There is a beautiful monument there. There is a memorial service every year, at the time of the attack. But most people in America are completely unaware of this.

The American response to 9/11 was just flat out bigoted. We had should not have gone to war. Americans supported it out of fear, hate, and prejudice. After the OKC bombing, we didn’t go to war on Americans because, well, how do you blame the whole country for four people’s ideals? For the same reason, we never should have gone to war in the Middle East.

I’m sorry, I’m waxing political, and I shouldn’t do that. I hate politics, and have ever since 9/11, because I was a kid then.

My point is, we don’t have country wide remembrance services for ww2. We don’t have a moment of silence in schools for the OKC bombing. What we do, instead, is focus on the groups we can hate. The people we can feel good about being racist against. The Japanese American citizens were mistrusted during WW2. They were forced to abandon their homes, friends, and careers, and moved into what were basically concentration camps. They lost their homes, as Californians all over the state snapped up properties that were cheap because they once belonged to the then-feared Japanese.

Now, we fear and judge Muslim Americans because of their faith. We feel justified in this because of the attacks on the world trade center, the pentagon, and the recent attack at the boston marathon. But we shouldn’t be remembering these days because of hate. We shouldn’t be constantly reminding each other of these days. If you choose to have a moment of silence for those men and women who died in the 9/11 attacks, you should take a moment on September 1st, or April 19th to remember those other people who died. None of the OKC victims died because of an extremist group. They died because of American extremists.

Also remember this: Americans are not victims of Muslims. We are not victims of Americans. We are not victims at all. We are survivors. The victims are the families of those died, or were hurt. They are not all of America. They were victims of extremists, and in every case of modern terrorism, we have found someone to blame, and they have been punished. Don’t spread hate. Don’t invoke God out of bigotry.

God is a personal thing. Your hate, and your love, are personal things. You are a personal thing. Drop the hive mind that is American judgement, and be an individual. Use your compassion yourself. Keep your hate and fear to yourself. Raise your children to never fear people for who they might be. Teach them to love people for who they are. If you feel the need to invoke God, do it for yourself. Do it for peace. Do it for your children. Don’t turn God into propaganda. And don’t feed propaganda with your fear. That kind of thinking is why citizens of Russia are being arrested and killed by their neighbors, just for being who they are. It’s not right for them, and it’s not right for us.

I love you all, dear readers. Please remember. Carry on.

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  1. Rhiannon D. L. Lear

    This has weighed heavily on me all day today, and I’ve not known whether or not I would comment. I have to start by saying that it makes me really sad if your feed is filled with posts of hate and sadness. My feed on 9/11 is filled with love and remembrance. I can’t think of one single hateful post I’ve read; except for maybe this one 😉

    The week leading up to 9/11 is always hard for me and the the week leading up to 4/19 is the same. Maybe it is because I lived in Oklahoma at the time and so did many of the people with whom I am friends, but on 4/19, my feed is filled with many of the same posts. Posts grateful for the people who helped. For the time we still have with people we love, because we never know when it could end in a second. I am reminded of these things on a daily basis as well, but I am also especially reminded of them on days like 4/19 and 9/11.

    Every year my heart breaks for the families who lost someone. I can’t think of one single time that I’ve been angry toward anyone, though. I do remember feeling very scared the first year. Wanting to trust everyone, but being unsure. But then also feeling so sorry for all of the international students on campus who were immediately being judged because of their religion or their home country.

    No, I am not reminded of hate on these dates. I am reminded of love. I am reminded of hope. My heart breaks and part of me will always feel incredibly somber. But I feel this way on Valentine’s Day when I think of sweethearts who no longer have their sweethearts; I think of this on Memorial Day when I remember men and women I’ve never met who have served our country. I am reminded of this on D-Day and Independence Day and Veterans Day and Grandparents Day and Mother’s Day and Fathers Day. And so for me it really isn’t one day. And for me, I was told I couldn’t recognize today publically from a particular social account … and it physically hurt my heart. It physically hurt. I was changed that day. I knew families and friends who lost families and friends. The same is true of the OKC bombing. I cried the day Haley told me she had never heard of it. And I made sure she knew. We promised OKC that we would never forget; and I was certain the first generation to have not lived through it wasn’t going to forget either. I can’t express how deeply these important moments in history have touched me. How large the lump in my throat is much of the week, increasingly so throughout the day-of. Today I didn’t even spend a lot of time on social media due to other responsibilities, but my heart ached, and I paused repeatedly throughout the day just to be grateful. To pray for the families missing someone. And to be grateful for the people in my life.

    I know you were expressing frustration over the fad-behavior this day seems to have, but I think perhaps you don’t know just how deeply so many people were touched. And I said it earlier, but it does make me sad if your feed isn’t filled with these same types of love-filled messages on 9/11 and 4/19 and all of the other dates I listed because my feed has the same types of silences and times to remember as I see on 9/11 {maybe not on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day b/c I’m just overly sentimental, but those holidays do remind me of limited time with loved ones, of those who have gone before us, and of strangers who have sacrificed greatly for me throughout history}.

    My hope is that your message touched anyone who was spewing hate today.

    For now I’ve rambled on long enough. Sweet dreams, dear cousin.

    • I’m glad I read your other comment first 🙂 I’m really glad I did not come off as hateful. And I absolutely love how you talked about how you feel on those days, and I’m so glad to know you are willing to educate others. Jenny and I are homeschooling our kids, and we plan on thoroughly covering all the topics I listed in my blog, as we are covering the last 150 years through this school year.
      Thank you, very much, for your feedback.
      My goal was to be able to say the things I said, and reach a few people on my feed, and on my page, who spent the day talking about how necessary the war effort in the middle east is, and how those countries need to be punished. I hope they saw me message, and it helped them think about things a little differently.
      Also, I’m sorry you feel so much emotional attachment to these days. Part of the point of my post is that we have to be able to let go, while keeping the memories alive. It comes down to finding a balance. That’s all I can hope for. My love to you, Rhiannon.

  2. Rhiannon D. L. Lear

    And I was just teasing about your post being hateful. I don’t think it was filled with hate.

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