It's long past time that we put 9/11 away. 9/11 has been exploited for far too long -- politically, religiously, economically -- in every way imaginable. Every year partisan political hacks, media shills, and religious crazies are all out in force, each serving in their own way, and by their own willful ignorance, to maximize raw emotional response and minimize rational thought. Every year come 9/11 they can always count on having on hand an easily manipulated rabble-rousing mob filled with "compassion" toward 9/11's victims and fear and hate toward its perpetrators that in the right hands is ready to serve just about any end imaginable. Put this emotionally-drenched mob mentality in the hands of some media mogul pushing a far right pro-corporative, war-profiteering agenda with an eye toward sensationalist ratings, and for whom journalistic integrity means absolutely nothing; or in the hands of unscrupulously self-serving politicians, ever ready to milk any issue that comes down the pike for whatever political mileage they can get out of it; or in the hands of any number of Christian fundamentalist evangelical preachers who see Islam as a satanic cult of infidels worshiping an evil god, and you have precisely the situation that we have witnessed every year for the past 9 years come every September 11 -- precisely the situation that is driving both terror and its warmongering response.
Yearly 9/11 ceremonials to cheer and justify morally unjustifiable aggressive wars of choice that have taken the lives of well over a million innocents contribute nothing to honoring the dead. Nor does using the collective appeal of this day of remembrance to stoke America's irrational fears of terrorism as a means of justifying the ongoing curtailment of our freedoms here at home serve our best interests. Nor does using 9/11 to foster distorted images of America as something better than she actually is do us any good. Nor does using 9/11 to stoke all the bigoted fear and hatred of Muslims that runs rampant in America's collective psyche take us any closer to a better America. And to all those who puff themselves up with "Christian" pride on this day of remembrance over the fact that they just happen not to have been born a Muslim, I ask whether you would react with that same inflated pride upon learning that you just happened to be the 8 billionth customer to be checked out at Wal-Mart? Is there a difference?
Regardless, it's time that we put 9/11 away. If we really want to honor the dead, a good place to start would be to stop using them to bring dishonor upon the living.