You know the best way to honor those who lost their lives on September 11th is, at this point?
Stop fricking carrying on about it, and get on with life.
Do we go apepoop every December 7th? No, we don't. We remember that date for reasons that should be obvious, but we don't turn it into a patriotic orgy, either.
Do we go insane on the 28th of July? No, we don't. And chances are good you probably don't remember why, either.
How about April 12th? Do you wave your flags and honk your horns and question the patriotism of anyone who forgets to put out a flag on that day? (Or waves the wrong flag, come to think of it?)
I bet not.
I bet you don't do anything special on the 25th or the 18th of June, either. And I bet you don't know why the 25th of April is significant.
(Come to think of it, you probably remember the 5th of November more than you know any of those dates. I blame Alan Moore.)
But all these dates have something in common. They're all dates that we either declared war on someone else, or someone else decided to declare war on US by attacking us, directly. Thereafter, we lost soldiers and civilians, and did so in numbers that positively dwarf our losses on September 11th.
And yet, chances are good that not only did you not know what wars those dates were tied to, but probably haven't really thought about those wars in quite a while.
Vietnam? Oh yeah, our parents were in that. Some of them dodged it, some of them served. Some didn't come back.
Korea? Er... well, yeah. That was MASH, right?
And yes, virginia, some people are still fighting the Civil War to this day. You probably ran into them on the internet, once or twice, making apologies for slavery and trying to tell you that your school textbooks were all written by yankee imperialists and carpetbaggers.
But World War I? The War of 1812? The Mexican American War?
("We fought a war against Mexico? Really? No crap? Wow, dude. So why don't they all speak English down there? I don't get it.")
And that's not to belittle anyone (mostly) but to point out an important fact. We entered those wars, either of our own will or against it. We kicked ass (mostly) and won (usually). They became part of our common history and culture.
And then, we moved on.
Yes, it took us a long time to move on from Vietnam, mostly because that's the one we DIDN'T win.
But the others? "America, f@#$ yeah."
So why should September 11th be any different?
Osama Bin Laden is dead. Al-Qaeda is in tatters. Afghanistan is wisely being abandoned for the graveyard of empires that it is.
War is over, if you want it.
So why are we still making a huge to-do about what happened that day? Have we not mourned enough? Have we not suffered enough? Have we not waved the bloody shirt and flagellated our naked backs enough?
For some, that day will not go away anytime soon. Those who lost loved ones and friends will continue to feel that loss. Those who were there, and witnessed that event, will never forget it.
And those who went out to fight in the war that resulted, and the loved ones that wait for them, or lost them in that war? The 11th will always be raw and wet for them.
But what of the rest of us? When are we going to allow this day to fall back into the warp and woof of our history, and let it become part of us without dominating our thought processes?
When are we going to make decisions and go in new directions that aren't overshadowed by the Twin Towers and Flight 93?
When are we going to take the advice of that one condemned commie, whoever he was, and not mourn, but organize?
Call me in the latter camp. Last year was the 10th anniversary, and I didn't really feel like waving flags or watching that videotape ONE MORE FRICKING TIME. I didn't feel like crying for the dead or their families. I didn't feel like remembering W and his pet goat.
I felt like moving on.
Maybe I'm not alone.