Remembering 9/11 Victims

The big story right now at YahooNews: “Heads bow in memory of 9/11 victims

9-11 Victim Photo A woman holds a photo of a 9/11 victim before a ceremony at New York City Relatives of Sept. 11 victims bowed their heads in silence Tuesday to mark the moments exactly six years earlier when hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. The dreary skies created a grim backdrop, and a sharp contrast to the clear blue of that morning in 2001.

“That day we felt isolated, but not for long and not from each other,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said as the first ceremony began. “Six years have passed, and our place is still by your side.”

A noble sentiment, to be sure. It’s widely shared, as Jules Crittenden’s long roundup of remembrances demonstrates.

The September 11 attacks will be, like the John Kennedy assassination and the Challenger explosion, events that people old enough to experience them will never forget. And, because the attacks precipitated America’s entry into a long war, we’re constantly reminded of that date.

Still, I wonder how long we’ll continue to hold major annual commemorations? Generally speaking, a 6th anniversary is not particularly noteworthy. Will we celebrate the 7th? The 9th? The 17th? The 29th?

How long did we do that after Pearl Harbor?

FILED UNDER: General, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jaded says:

    In my opinion we should have yearly rememberances until the day the war that was started against us is won whether that be 10 years 20 years or all of my lifetime. The rememberances are just that an opportunity to remember the grave injustice and murder that befell us on 9-11 and for which we were wholly unprepared…..never forget.

  2. Anderson says:

    How long did we do that after Pearl Harbor?

    Well, Hawaii wasn’t even a state then; 9/11 was more visceral.

    And after Pearl Harbor, we were busy dealing one blow after another to the enemy who attacked us. Whereas in the present struggle, by analogy, we won the Battle of Midway, and then declared war against Siam.

  3. Michael says:

    Still, I wonder how long we’ll continue to hold major annual commemorations? Generally speaking, a 6th anniversary is not particularly noteworthy. Will we celebrate the 7th? The 9th? The 17th? The 29th?

    Probably 2 years after the end of the Iraq war, because that’s how long it takes to heal. It would have been 2 years after the event itself, it it weren’t for the fact that the wound was re-cut every year since then to keep the nation angry/hurt enough to justify hurting someone else.

  4. B. Minich says:

    My guess is that we didn’t do it much after Pearl Harbor – we were pretty busy with WWII, which reminded people all the time – my guess is that people really didn’t want to do nation wide remembrances after having to do air raids on December 1, 3, and 5 of 1942.

    After the war, I’m sure we did the 5 year, but not much more than that (and not on a national level). I think that the internet makes the anniversaries seem a lot more prominent (there are people who mark these types of events every year, particularly those affected), and that our culture cares a lot more about anniversaries than our forefathers in the 40s.

  5. Tlaloc says:

    Still, I wonder how long we’ll continue to hold major annual commemorations?

    I ask the same question with slightly different emphasis. The answer is basically- when we finally grow up.

    9/11 was basically a skinned knee. In the history of human tragedies it is not only not in the top ten it’s not in the top million. Jan 2001 saw an earthquake kill 20,000 in India with another 200,000 wounded. Almost 10x as many people, but they’re brown so who cares…

    It’s a shame we couldn’t handle 9/11 maturely. Because we screwed up we gave AQ a huge victory that needn’t have been. They took their best shot but we chose to stick our chin out in front and let them hit it, a glass chin it turns out. And here we are six god damn years later still whining about it! It’s hard to believe that we’re a former british colony. Somewhere between York and New York the stiff upper lip became a trembling pout.

    GET OVER IT.

    For god’s sake 10x as many people die EVERY YEAR because americans don’t want to use mass transit. Over 100x as many people die EVERY YEAR because we won’t stop cigarette companies from poisoning people. 10x as many die EVERY YEAR becase we get boners from firearms. The death toll from 9/11 is only about 2-3x what we suffer EVERY YEAR from Autoerotic deaths. That’s right in the six years since 9/11 we’ve lost twice as many people to monkey spanking related activities as we did to the terrorists!

    Get a sense of proportion people.

  6. Tlaloc says:

    Let me add one addendum-
    The people who actually had immediate loved ones who died in the attack do have my honest sympathies. that sucks and i hope they find some way to come to peace with it, however long that takes.

    Okay now that those six people are out of the way, the remaining 299,999,994 americans who were traumatized by having to sit through round the clock Wolf Blitzer, please please please STFU. Pre-empting Scrubs is not a tragedy you should still be suffering nightmares from.

    Just get on with your lives.

  7. Boyd says:

    Wow. Just…wow.

    You and I aren’t from the same planet, Tlaloc. Not even the same universe.

  8. Tlaloc says:

    You and I aren’t from the same planet, Tlaloc. Not even the same universe.

    A pity because on my planet terrorism is easily dealt with and really not a big deal at all. How are things going over there on planet “freak the ^%$# out”?

  9. Tlaloc says:

    A visual explanation

    Which problem do you spend years obsessing over?

  10. Tlaloc says:

    Doh, the image showed up in the preview but not the actual post.

    Here’s a link

  11. chsw says:

    Six years ago today, I watched several friends die. Some were casual friends from college and grad school. Some were family friends. Two were in my wedding party.

    Six years ago today, my wife and I were sudden babysitters of several children whose parents could not get out of their Manhattan workplaces.

    Six years ago today, my mother – a survivor of the London airblitz – explained to my panicky wife that everyone has to develop “an everyday sort of courage.”

    Six years ago today, my world changed. I changed. I developed a quiet anger. And I’m still angry.

    chsw