Monday, September 11, 2006

More than just Remembering 9/11

Posted by Craig Westover | 7:59 AM |  

I didn’t write this, but I wish I had. Great 9/11 editorial today in the Pioneer Press
We elect people to deal with what may come

Remember 9/11. Easy to say. But in Minnesota, 1,200 miles from Ground Zero, it is difficult to find meaning and inspiration in our memories of that world-changing morning.

We know where we were five years ago this morning. Glued to a television set, hoping it was a terrible accident. Before we could complete that thought, the second plane hit.

And we know where we are. At war in Iraq and on duty in Afghanistan. At odds at home. Not believing our leaders but not trusting those who would replace them. Feeling vulnerable to unseen enemies and poorly used by politicians, pundits and assorted experts.

While "Remember Pearl Harbor'' was an unambiguous call to service and sacrifice, "Remember 9/11" is too often a call to return to our partisan corners. . . .

Whether the war in Iraq will prevent further attacks or divert our resources and stir up more hatred of the U.S. is a dead-serious election issue for us. A Democratic candidate for governor in Tuesday's primary, state Sen. Becky Lourey, lost a son to the war against terror. Army Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Lourey, 40, died when his helicopter was shot down in Iraq last year.

Sen. Lourey upheld the highest and deepest meaning of the 9/11 remembrance when she cast the only vote in the Minnesota Senate this year against a bill to restrict demonstrations at military funerals. Next to her, the flag-waving politicians looked pretty small.

When that sacred smoke rising from the collapsing towers cleared away, we should have been changed forever. But many of us merely incorporated the image into our own narratives. Or worse — into 30-second political ads.

We "remember 9/11" to justify whatever we previously believed rather than to see the world anew. . . .

If that horrible morning means anything to voters, it should be this: We never know what the people we elect will have to face after the polls close. President Bush and his 2000 opponent, Al Gore, talked about Social Security and Medicare but rarely discussed terrorism. We are not electing a smile or a special interest or a seven-point plan. We are electing a person who will have to handle whatever comes. Character and vision matter more than stupid advertising tricks. . . .

We can find the courage and will to work for a unified vision in a warring culture. Today, we remember 9/11. Let's not forget it tomorrow.
And speaking of incorporating 9/11 in one's own narrative . . .