Thursday, September 11, 2008

Towers Of Light

Go here for a look at the Towers Of Light in Lower Manhattan now!

As much as I fervently wish that space was filled with brand new bold and tall towers, I still get goosebumps, seeing these lights.

I've seen a lot of 9/11 coverage today and many admonishments to "Never Forget." Yes, I agree. We should never ever forget. But we shouldn't get so caught up in the remembering, the thinking about what happened, that we forget to DO something. Our governments--federal, state, city--have erected memorial after memorial. Yes. It's important to remember those who died.

But maybe we should take just a little of the effort that went toward all of these memorials and apply it toward making our country actually safe from our enemies, keeping it free from tyranny, and rebuilding those towers. We need to complement some of that thinking with action. I think we would honor the victims best by ensuring that this never, ever happens again.

For more reflections on this day, try the latest Objectivist Round Up for our "Nothing Less Than Victory" themed carnival.

UPDATE: Here are several good posts that I just read, from Consent of the Governed, Corn and Oil, and Ragamuffin Studies. Elisheva at Ragamuffin Studies includes this lyric from "America the Beautiful" which brought me to tears:

"...whose alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears.



Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Hi, Jenn, and thanks for the the link!

Being a Jew, I have some experience with the persistence of memory. I think that there are those, like Keith Olberman, who think the remembering is for the pain. But, although it is painful, it is not that. I am thinking of this statement, which we read on the Sabbath before Purim:

"Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you came forth from The Narrow Places (slavery in Egypt)--how he attacked you when you were famished and weary and (like a coward) he cut down the little ones and stragglers at your rear. Therefore. . . you shall blot out the mememory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget!" (Torah Reading for Shabbat Zachor--Remember).

Remembering Amalek is not about wallowing in our pain. But is about remembering that ". . . in every generation there have those who have risen up to destroy us . . ." (Passover Hagadah). And why do we remember? Because it is our duty to blot out evil from under the heavens.

But of course, we are still here to remember--and Amalek's name is blotted out! We are still here because we remember and that puts fire in our bellies to destroy the evil so that the good can prosper the work of their hands.

So, too, with 9-11. We must remember the evil that was done to us so that our children and their children know that they must blot it out from under the heavens. We remember so that we understand that it our right and duty to respond. Not only to avenge the dead--for no one can be forgiven for cutting off the life of another--but to stop it so that we and our children and their children can live their lives free from fear.

To dwell on the pain and the pathos is to miss the point. When we tell the story, we must dwell on the evil that was done and the courage of those who stood against it.

But I agree with you that the major media seems to continuously miss the point. They dwell on what they call the "tragedy" as if this were a natural disaster. Tney do not want to remember the desperate courage, the heroes that refused to bow down to the chaos. I think that's because they do not want the responsibility of responding.

suchlovelyfreckles said...

It's so much easier to remember something that has happened during our lifetime... I will never ever forget that morning. I know exactly what I did, how I felt, and how paralyzed I was for days to come.
So yes, remembering is a good thing.
And yes, action is another good thing.
This can't ever happen again.
I'm German... I know a thing or two about being reminded to remember. :)

cathy said...

I love going to NYC. I watched as the towers were being built; visited them many times; watched as they fell. I was in NYC on 9/8 and went to the top if the Empire State Building, as I have done so many times and saw the lights. In a way, they made me angry. Angry that the towers weren't there; angry that BinLaden was still out there; angry that nothing had been done to the area except having 2 lights. I still feel everything I felt the day the towers were attacked and I still see the faces of those who lost loved ones on that day. I still get tears in my eyes.

Adam Ross, Jessica Lee, Evan Ross Cooke said...

Penn & Teller's "Bullshit" did a great show on the "rebuilding" of the Twin Towers' site. By the by, it's a great show in general, but you either have to have Showtime, buy their DVDs, find it on the net, or have Netflix Instant Watch to see them.