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Patriot Day.
September 5, 2002 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Patriot Day. Apparently, "congress approved a joint resolution December 18 authorizing the president to designate September 11 of each year as Patriot Day." I have a difficult time believing that this name will replace the simple "9-11" in the public's mind. On the other hand, Armistice Day eventually became Veterans Day...
posted by Joey Michaels (78 comments total)

 
I realize that any link attached to 9-11 could potentially turn into an argument. However, I am really interested to hear people's thoughts on this Congressionally chosen name for the day.

Personally, I think the simple, austere "9-11" is so ingrained in my mind as the day's name that I have a hard time thinking of it as anything other than 9-11.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:03 PM on September 5, 2002


Me and my wife were discussing this last night. I really don't agree with making it a holiday, we don't honor Pearl Harbor or OKC with a holiday, so why 9/11? It's a tragedy, but does that warrant a holiday?
posted by mkelley at 12:03 PM on September 5, 2002


But there already is a Patriot's Day... In Massachusetts anyway.... It's the day they run the Boston Marathon...
posted by davros42 at 12:06 PM on September 5, 2002


9-11? What the heck happened on November 9th?

(it makes more sense if you're canadian)
posted by blue_beetle at 12:06 PM on September 5, 2002


What the heck happened on November 9th?

I was born. And the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. suffered a blackout.

The big question people will be asking about Patriot day: Do we get the day off work?
posted by Shane at 12:10 PM on September 5, 2002


Veteran's Day = Rememberance Day in Canada.

"Lest we forget."
posted by damclean2 at 12:10 PM on September 5, 2002


I started out to say that here in New England we already have Patriot's Day. But on Preview I see what mkelley says about Pearl Harbor, and that's kind of what I was thinking as well. Reacting to getting attacked doesn't really seem 'patriotic.' It's more people trying to stay alive, and help others to stay alive, in a bad situation.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:10 PM on September 5, 2002


Trust me, when this holiday becomes a day-of-work excuse to drink beer, Patriot Day will push "9/11" right to the side.

*Yes, that's probably overly cynical. My problem, my burden. Have a nice Patriot Day!)
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:10 PM on September 5, 2002


"Patriot Day?"

Ugh. You know, I wouldn't mind a holiday on the 11th, since it's the day before my birthday, but only if we do away with the "What the fuck are we off for?" Labor Day.
posted by ColdChef at 12:12 PM on September 5, 2002


True, lelilo. And as two people have said already, we already get the day off for Patriots Day in New England, and it has nothing to do with the Super Bowl victory.
posted by Kevs at 12:12 PM on September 5, 2002


"Day-off-work". That's what I get for typing while eating.
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:12 PM on September 5, 2002


I'm tired of hearing the phrase "9-11". In my mind, anything is better. Well, within the bounds of good taste, naturally.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:14 PM on September 5, 2002


Pearl Harbor Day isn't really a holiday as much as it is a day to remember, mourn and pray for peace. That's what I think 9/11 should be as well.
What it should NOT become is a day for banging the drums of war and making pompous speeches about rooting out the evil-doers.
What I am afraid of is that by naming it "Patriot Day" we are taking a step towards the latter.
I am having a hard time coming up with an appropriate title for 9/11, but I'm pretty sure "Patriot Day" isn't it.
posted by TCMITS at 12:22 PM on September 5, 2002


i'm just still mad about them combining lincoln's and washington's birthdays into one president's day.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 12:25 PM on September 5, 2002


It's a personal thing, I suppose, but "patriot" has always seemed a very loaded term. Though obviously a patriot is merely someone who loves their country, the sort of patriotism that comes to mind when I hear Bush deploy it brings to mind a very narrowly defined, right-wing version (ie, a patriot is also Republican, Christian, hawkish, etc). The people who acted bravely on Sept. 11 didn't do so because they were patriots; they did so because they were human beings. It's only in the aftermath that issues of national unity and patriotism became relevant; on Sept. 11, on the ground, it wasn't at all about who followed which flag. That said, I'd be much more comfortable with something simple, like Remembrance Day, or simply Sept. 11.
posted by risenc at 12:26 PM on September 5, 2002


do away with Labor Day? never! there should never be a reduction in the number of paid days off that i get, nor should there be some sort of zero sum exchange. the only option is more days off than the year before.

but since this is a presidential declaration thing, we won't get the whole "day off and banks closing" thing, will we?


more related to the topic: what a terrible name. i thought Independence Day was sufficient to celebrate our national Patriots. why not call this "Capitalize on a Tragedy Day" and be honest about it? we can all celebrate by using 9-11 (feh) as justification for everything we do on that day.
posted by tolkhan at 12:27 PM on September 5, 2002


Here's the resolution.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:29 PM on September 5, 2002


gotta agree with risenc. .. what about remembrance day as opposed to patriot's day....
posted by mhaw at 12:29 PM on September 5, 2002


"Rescuer Hero Day" would be alright with me. But what's patriotic about dying in a terrorist attack? Dying trying to rescue civilians is definitely heroic, and is patriotic in a sense, I guess. But I don't feel like that's who we're honoring. I feel like we're honoring the dead civilians.

I agree with TCMITS, I think it's just going to be a lot of drum-banging and ratings-/vote-grabbing garbage.
posted by zekinskia at 12:32 PM on September 5, 2002


I like that we are left to our own devices to deal with December 7th, 1941. You might see a small story in the newspaper, or hear the date mentioned on the radio. Your calendar might have a small mention. But how you choose to commemorate the day is left up to the person.

Just as people find threads posted here calling for others to mourn the loss of artists, celebrities, and authors to be annoying, I feel the same way about any sort of "forced grievance" time as directed by the gov't or the media. Why can't that day be September 11, and why can't people be allowed to remember, grieve, or deal with it in their own ways?

A "cult of mourning" does more harm than good, most times.
posted by mathowie at 12:33 PM on September 5, 2002


I'm tired of hearing the phrase "9-11".

No joke. What's the advantage of "nine-eleven" over "September 11th"? Is it because 9-1-1 is the emergency number, and planes crashing into buildings is an emergency? That seems a little trite to me.

what's patriotic about dying in a terrorist attack?

Careful, zekinskia, that's what got Bill Maher into so much hot water.
posted by mikrophon at 12:35 PM on September 5, 2002


I'm tired of hearing the phrase "9-11", tired of about the supposed massive effect it had on everyone in the country, tired of hearing about how essential it is that we Do Something About It, tired of sentimental blather about "heroism" and "patriotism", tired of hearing about terrorism as though it were something new and uniquely frightening, tired of bogus security measures, tired of the endless vaudeville act that is George W. Bush.

Lots of people were killed. Fine, that sucks, and I can understand that people would be a bit rattled. But it's been an entire year. Air travel is not appreciably less safe than it was before. The risk of being killed in a terrorist attack is still infinitesimal. There's been no follow up and no sign that the jet crashes were the beginning of anything bigger.

I didn't know any of the people who died. So far as I know, none of the people I know did, either. Yes, lots of people died, but for the vast majority of Americans they were complete strangers. Why can't we let the people who were actually affected by this mess get on with their lives? This mass media "we were all touched" shlock just cheapens the genuine loss experienced by friends and relatives of the dead. It's a cheap, tacky dose of readily-hyped drama for a world that really isn't any more exciting or dangerous than the one we lived in last year.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:35 PM on September 5, 2002


Anybody else think that making it a holiday at all sort of cheapens it? Not that that hasn't already been done to death.

I just don't really want to go to the Day-That-Terrorists-Attacked-Us white sale.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:35 PM on September 5, 2002


Mars, let me just give you a great big hug.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:37 PM on September 5, 2002


Patriot’s day is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. According to Webster, a patriot is one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests. What about 9-11 made the later of that definition fitting? buhhhh!
posted by bmxGirl at 12:39 PM on September 5, 2002


I plan to observe September 11th by trying to pretend that nothing happened a year ago. That my best friend couldn't see the towers fall from his window, that I didn't keep a metal pole next to the front door that night in case "shit went down," that my country isn't waging a war in my name that has nothing to do with me.

None of that.
posted by mikrophon at 12:40 PM on September 5, 2002


I myself prefer "TEOSE", as in The Events Of September Eleventh, but most people I've run that by don't appreciate it.

On the other hand, considering that the word "Patriot" was already tainted by the "USA Patriot Act", why not further dilute it by attaching it to our new day of national mourning?
posted by norm at 12:41 PM on September 5, 2002


Although it is preferable to other suggestions, the memories of a time when "patriotism" meant "unquestioning support of Mr Bush and all of his opinions" are far too fresh for me to feel comfortable with this name.

I shall continue referring to that day as "September 11th, 2001", and to the events which occurred on that day as "the attack on the World Trade Centre".
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:41 PM on September 5, 2002


I'll mention that many - if not most, I wager - communities had already planned their own "observances" for September 11 before this "proclamation" came out today - six days before the anniversary.

Ours, for instance, includes lowering the flag to half-staff at 10:05 (the time the South tower fell), an appropriate salute, speech from the fire chief, and prayers from various church and synagogue leaders; followed by a second salute and a moment of silence at 10:23 (the time the North tower fell), followed by the raising of the flag back to full staff. Now we are told that we have to do something altogether different, and leave the flag at half-staff all day? And call the day "Patriot Day" as well? No thank you, George.
posted by yhbc at 12:42 PM on September 5, 2002


In Music City USA, Nashvegas, the Country Music Hall of Fame will be free and open to the public! The terrorists have not won!
posted by mikrophon at 12:44 PM on September 5, 2002


I think it's a great idea! After all, nothing says "patriotism" like "Time to go to work.... dum dee doo.... hmm, no new emails.... maybe I'll go get a coffee.... gee, isn't that plane flying a tad low?"
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 12:46 PM on September 5, 2002


Horrible idea. What a way to cheapen what happened, and what presumption to think that "patriotism" has anything to do with it. Like those NYers said on their signs during a protest, "our grief is not a cry for war." This is absolutely disgusting.

I know people who lost family members that day, and I'd bet my bottom dollar that the idea of a holiday being set aside to commemorate their death, called "Patriot's Day" no less, would not be welcomed.
posted by adampsyche at 12:46 PM on September 5, 2002


This isn't a national holiday, just a day of observance, like Father's day, Flag Day, Columbus Day, and many others. There actually is a National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, so Patriot's Day isn't really unprecedented. Of course, the name still sounds horrible, but we're not going to get time off work or anything for it.
posted by fengshui at 12:47 PM on September 5, 2002


We name things to imbue them with added significance. The majority of the people in this country want to signify the day -- to make it stand out from other days. Since we live in a democracy, what the majority of people want tends to happen. Whether you or I agree with it is pretty much irrelevant.

That said, under any circumstance "Patriot Day" is a bad misnomer. The notion of "patriot" connotes pride -- feeling good about something. There's nothing about 9/11 that deserves that sentiment. The fact that the terrorist attacks led to feelings of patriotism doesn't mean that's what the day was about. If I ruled the world, there would be no "title."
posted by pardonyou? at 12:48 PM on September 5, 2002


I prefer the "9-11" moniker because I think that the '11" resembles the World Trade Center. Symbolically, I think it works as a reminder of the tragedy.

Other names, including "Patriot Day" or the clunky "United We Stand Remembrance Day" (thanks MrMoonPie for the link that led me to that), though they may be backed with the best intentions, can be interpreted as politically motivated.

Ultimately, the tinge (be it real or imagined) of political opportunism somewhat cheapens what we are remembering.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:49 PM on September 5, 2002


Decades from now, when the emotions and memories have faded, we'll probably want something more evocative than "9-11." Imagine if Pearl Harbor Day had been called "December 7" (or even worse, "7-11") instead.

Assuming Holy-Shit-Have-You-Seen-CNN Day is out, I vote for Remembrance Day or something else non-loaded if we have to call it anything at all, which it seems we do. Patriot Day smacks of Patriot Act.

And LMC is right: no day off, that cheapens it. Especially since you're supposedly remembering so many who were killed at work.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:50 PM on September 5, 2002


I think it will probably stay "September 11th" in our memories and language. It's hard to think of a more hamfistedly sanctimonious name than Patriot Day (reminds me of "Love Day" on the Simpsons: "I'm Sir Hugs-a-lot, the bear who loves to love..."), but the Bush is nothing if not hamfistedly sanctimonious.
posted by Dr. Boom at 12:51 PM on September 5, 2002


I agree. Just "September 11th" is enough for me. If the day really needs a name, then "Rememberance Day" or something equally simple. How are any of us more or less patriots for having experienced that day? "Patriot Day" is just awful, awful: I think of this:

"There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of the places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates."--Ernest Hemingway
posted by octobersurprise at 12:51 PM on September 5, 2002


How about [deep voice]"The Day that Everything Changed Day."[/deep voice]
posted by adampsyche at 12:52 PM on September 5, 2002


Anybody else think that making it a holiday at all sort of cheapens it? Not that that hasn't already been done to death.

No I think that the "Collector's edition" 9/11 magazines do a fine job of cheapening the whole event. While I agree with most of what Mars Saxman wrote, I think it's important to realise that it does affect so many people simply for the fact that they all watched it live. Not too many people had a chance to watch the Titanic sink. Viewing the event is half the connection.

For others it was the continental wide disruption of daily living. I'm in Calgary and it was the wierdest thing to not hear or see any air traffic for 2 - 3 days. Meanwhile airline & airport employees in small airports across Canada were working triple-overtime trying accommodate all the unexpected traffic.

Should we dwell on it? Hell no. But it touched almost everybody in one way or another.
posted by damclean2 at 12:56 PM on September 5, 2002


October, great quote.
posted by ColdChef at 12:59 PM on September 5, 2002


Terrorism Day?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:00 PM on September 5, 2002


Um, let's not forget the Pentagon DrJohn.

I agree that "Patriot Day" is awful. I also seem to recall that some in the militia movement (remember them?) referred to the day Waco burned as "Patriot's Day" and encouraged anti-government actions to "commemorate" it.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:00 PM on September 5, 2002


Well, since nobody else has linked it yet in this thread, I guess I'd better do it:

Holy Fucking Shit Day (don't shoot the messenger, okay)

(Oh, and what Mars Saxman said)
posted by briank at 1:01 PM on September 5, 2002


Dr. Boom: "hamfistedly sanctimonious"

I like that!
posted by TCMITS at 1:05 PM on September 5, 2002


How about [deep voice]"The Day that Everything Changed Day."[/deep voice]

I think probably every day in the calendar has been christened that by someone or other.

It won't be "september 11" for everyone, always - NYers will probably think of it that way for the rest of their lives, the way people at Pearl Harbor probably thought of december 7th that way forever. But for others, esp those too young now etc, it won't hold that kind of meaning forever. Tragedy happens all the time; the ones near you remain with you but aren't more important in the Grand Scheme Of Things. For those of us affected, september 11th needs no external marking. The same is true of those who were not particularly affected.

The name Patriot Day is repugnant to me because it has nothing at all to do with what that day felt like in my personal experience. But I'll just have to ignore it.
posted by mdn at 1:06 PM on September 5, 2002


Decades from now, when the emotions and memories have faded, we'll probably want something more evocative than "9-11." Imagine if Pearl Harbor Day had been called "December 7" (or even worse, "7-11") instead.

Oh, I don't know. In my experience most people call Independence Day "the 4th of July", and none of us have forgotten what it means.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:06 PM on September 5, 2002


Remembering attacks, losses or defeats through yearly anniversary mourning is a great way to lead to future conflict. Look at the Balkans. The Serbs still celebrate their loss to the Turks in the sixteenth century (maybe fifteenth) as a national holiday. And used it as a justification to attack the Muslim Kosovars in the 1990s.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:08 PM on September 5, 2002


How about "when we were nailed by strangers bearing office supplies" day?

But seriously. The people who died on September 11th were people who were doing their jobs. Messing with currencies, serving breakfast, fighting fires. I think they were representative of the general population, because their sample is so large. And I don't think that who they were or what they did was in any way more "patriotic" than any other sample of a few thousand from a major U.S. city.

It really sucks that they died. And I think it sucks when people trot out the tired-by-now "patriot" (or "hero") monikers.

You could argue that those killed at Pearl Harbour were far more patriotic, because they were mostly in the military service, and thus more patriotic. They also were in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing their duty (for their country, even) when they were hammered by a disastrous attack.
posted by websavvy at 1:08 PM on September 5, 2002


This mass media "we were all touched" shlock just cheapens the genuine loss experienced by friends and relatives of the dead. It's a cheap, tacky dose of readily-hyped drama for a world that really isn't any more exciting or dangerous than the one we lived in last year.

Mars, many people were touched by the events of 9/11 -- you didn't have to know someone who died. And I don't think remembering back to what happened a year ago is either cheap or tacky. It was a profound event that had and will continue to have a significant impact on our daily lives and world events. I disagree with the implication that this is all being driven by the "big bad media machine," and that if it weren't for the hype we'd all just pro'ly forget about it.

This provides an accurate view of my feelings on the subject (and I suspect many others). I'm sorry if you happen to be "tired" of it, but I'm still tired of the fact that so many had to die for nothing.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:08 PM on September 5, 2002


/me born on December 7th.

Aside from that, I agree with what Matt said above. I would rather have that day as a normal day with the occasional blurb in the paper/TV/websites and allowed to grieve and remember as I want. If it was a holiday away from work, it would just become Memorial Day II, where the meaning would slowly be forgotten.
posted by mkelley at 1:15 PM on September 5, 2002


pardonyou: I had just gone out and grabbed the link to Lilek's Bleat for the day and was about to post it, but you beat me to it. It's an execllent piece. I don't always agree with Lilek. He comes from the other side of the aisle from where I usually stand. But on this day and on this particular subject we are of a like mind.
posted by TCMITS at 1:17 PM on September 5, 2002


Yeah, TCMITS, that piece obviously moved me. Particularly the part where he refers to Christine Hanson, a two-year-old on a flight to from Boston to Los Angeles with her parents to Disneyland. A flight that ended up crashing into the World Trade Center:

Little Christine was [2]; bin Laden’s lackeys killed her - and did so to ensure that other fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters died as well, preferably by the tens of thousands. This little girl’s death wasn’t even a comma in the manifesto they hoped to write. They made sure that her last moments alive were filled with horror and blood, screams and fear; they made sure that the last thing she saw was the desperate faces of her parents, insisting that everything was okay, we’re going to see Mickey, holding out a favorite toy with numb hands, making up a happy lie. And then she was fire and then she was ash.

I feel the same anger I did on 9/11; I feel the same overwhelming grief. Nothing in my heart has changed, and God forbid it ever does.


Amen.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:24 PM on September 5, 2002


"But it touched almost everybody in one way or another."

Actually, no it didn't. It touched almost everybody in the States. I guarantee you it hasn't changed a thing for some paan-walla in Bangalore. For that matter, it hasn't altered my life at all, and I'm in Toronto.

Keep it in perspective. Yes, it was too bad. But it wasn't the earth-shattering event Americans seem to think it was.
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 1:25 PM on September 5, 2002


There's a lot to be frustrated about in the wake of Sept. 11 - the commercializing, the warmongering, the war - but the worst has got to be the way the federal government and, frankly, the rest of the country has treated New York City. The city was, and still is, capital F fucked. There's a hole in the budget this ___________________________ big, and a good chunk of that money that Bush got brownie points for promising has never arrived (and listening to that weasel Mitch Daniels try to explain why, in reality, a promise of funds isn't really a promise made me red in the face). Meanwhile everybody else has turned the day into a self-pitying, point-grabbing free-for-all. How long did it take for the world outside Crystal City and NYC to turn the whole thing into a big kitschfest? About five days. So is it at all surprising that the rest of the country should rally around Bush and Patriot Day, while NYC sinks into its own budget fiasco?
posted by risenc at 1:25 PM on September 5, 2002


Thanks, Chef. One of my favorites. Metafilter's own thread on the event is also a terrible (in the traditional sense) document. If everything else on MeFi vanishes in to the ether one day, I hope that's kept somewhere. I still can't read it through to the end without tears.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:31 PM on September 5, 2002


pardonyou?: so many had to die for nothing

As opposed to all the others who die for something?

Though I understand how Lileks felt emotional resonance with his own little girl, I don't think it makes a cogent argument for the holding on to this tragedy above and beyond all other comparable tragedies.
posted by signal at 1:32 PM on September 5, 2002


Of the alternate names mentioned so far, "Remembrance Day" is the one I prefer.

For the record, risenc, perhaps if it were Remembrance Day, it would invite people to remember to try and continue to help and support (financially and otherwise) the families (and the cities) most effected by the attacks.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:33 PM on September 5, 2002


Hear, hear, rise. New York City is barely making it.

Here's Bloomberg's address of mid-February. (In which he says he won't raise taxes (oh except sin and poor taxes), and that he's "confident" Albany and D.C. will do their parts in assistance (which, it can be argued, they haven't), and that he can maintain the number of police, etc. (debatable)).
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:38 PM on September 5, 2002


Patriot's Day falls on April 19th, has for a long time now.
posted by thirteen at 1:41 PM on September 5, 2002


"But it touched almost everybody in one way or another."

Actually, no it didn't. It touched almost everybody in the States. I guarantee you it hasn't changed a thing for some paan-walla in Bangalore. For that matter, it hasn't altered my life at all, and I'm in Toronto.


First, touched != changed or altered. Second, I don't doubt that there are some people who witnessed 9/11 who were not in the slightest bit touched (and maybe you're among them). Maybe it's just me, but I'm touched* when I hear about earthquakes in India, floods in Japan, a sunken ferry off the coast of Norway, starvation in Ethiopia, violence in Belfast, ritual mutilation in Africa. I'm touched when a mudslide wipes out a village, or when an alpine skier is paralyzed after a horrible crash. Needless to say, the notion of airplanes with two-year-old passengers crashing into buildings, ultimately causing people to face the Hobsian choice of dying by fire or fall, touched me and many others around the world. Maybe it didn't touch you in any way. If so, sorry to hear that. But don't imply that my claim reflected some U.S.-centrism on my part.

*To affect the emotions of; move to tender response
posted by pardonyou? at 1:45 PM on September 5, 2002


This Just In (and I don't know where else to put it):

"A moment of silence is planned for 8:46 a.m. Eastern time (U.S.), when the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center."

This from the CEO to everyone where I work. News to me. Evidently we will work on the 9/11 anniversary, but may have a bloodmobile, and will probably be encouraged to support a 9/11-related charity (and, of course, be quiet at 8:46.)

Anyone else?
posted by Shane at 1:59 PM on September 5, 2002


(Man, I hope I don't get dragged into a prayer circle or something at work on 9/11. Hawaiian-shirt-day is bad enough.
posted by Shane at 2:01 PM on September 5, 2002


ahh....the powerful greeting card lobby has been making large campaign donations lately....
posted by themikeb at 2:04 PM on September 5, 2002


Late to the thread but I have to throw in with those who think referring to the attacks as "9/11" is a bit too trite. I've always thought the shorthand nature and cheap association to "911" is demeaning. I'd prefer we use "September 11th" unless something more evocative comes along.
posted by Tubes at 2:11 PM on September 5, 2002


"First, touched != changed or altered."

Fair enough. I guess I interpreted "touched" as "changed". Which, given the tendency of people to think of Sept 11th as (to steal from adampsyche) The Day That Everything Changed, isn't that big a leap.

So yes, of course Sept 11th was upsetting and sad and a Very Bad Thing. But so are many other incidents. Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, what makes this one so special?

All I'm trying to say is that for the vast majority of the world's population, Sept 11th was just a rather unusual link in the ongoing chain of Very Bad Things we see on the evening news every night.
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 2:23 PM on September 5, 2002


If we have to call it something, I vote for Emergency Services Day. I can't think of a better way to commemorate September 11th than by showing our appreciation for our local police officers and fire fighters.
posted by Silune at 2:28 PM on September 5, 2002


not that anyone's asking, but i'd like to put in a vote for emergency services day. rather than remember and contemplate something that wasn't really practiced on september 11th [patriotism], remembering and contemplating [and perhaps helping or donating to?] the various emergency services seems like it would also help us remember the nation's reaction to the events on september 11th. the people helping rescue and the people on the plane that crashed in pa were not acting patriotically, rather they were acting the way that emergency service workers do every time they respond to a call. it could help people remember the somewhat selfless reactions to the events and perhaps encourage them to be more selfless as a result. [i didn't think i was this idealistic...]
posted by zorrine at 3:24 PM on September 5, 2002


Silune-
Emergency Services Day is the only title I've seen today that doesn't make me cringe. But since it doesn't promote a political agenda im sure its out.
posted by uftheory at 3:25 PM on September 5, 2002


Besides, after Bush attacks Iraq on sep 11 this year the date will be know in history as the day America went too far.
posted by uftheory at 3:26 PM on September 5, 2002


Oh! Emergency Services Day! That is a nice one. That's my new favorite.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:38 PM on September 5, 2002


Since it broke our mirror of illusions of personal freedom and liberty, and the glass house of constitutional rights given to us by our forefathers, perhaps it should be called

"Crystal Day"

(someone please tell me that you 'got it.')
posted by kablam at 3:39 PM on September 5, 2002


Technically, wouldn't that be Kristalltag?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:12 PM on September 5, 2002


Though I understand how Lileks felt emotional resonance with his own little girl, I don't think it makes a cogent argument for the holding on to this tragedy above and beyond all other comparable tragedies.

I don't think it's about making an argument for holding on to the tragedy--how long one is deeply affected by something like that is an emotional response, not a rational one. You can't argue someone out of (or into) it.

Looking back on the events of September 11, I no longer feel the horror that I did on September 11. And yet, to this day I get a knot in my stomach if I see a replay of the Challenger explosion, now 16 years gone. Why I should be so deeply affected by one and not the other, I haven't a clue.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:24 PM on September 5, 2002


touched != changed or altered

Indeed. The entire point of touch is that it updates the date of the file without actually altering it.
posted by kindall at 5:44 PM on September 5, 2002


I understand that some people not directly affected by the crashes have still experienced strong emotional reactions to them. I don't understand, but neither do I grudge them their remembrances. There is an endlessly-repeated suggestion that I, too, should feel some connection to this tragedy - more than for any of the earthquakes, floods, sinkings, famines, and other disasters pardonyou listed above - simply because I am an American citizen. This is implied once again in the designation of the 11th as a national "Patriot Day".

The suggestion implies that the important thing to remember is that America was attacked, not that lots of people died. It's shallow nationalism, turning something tragic into something sentimental and manipulative.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:55 AM on September 6, 2002


There is an endlessly-repeated suggestion that I, too, should feel some connection to this tragedy - more than for any of the earthquakes, floods, sinkings, famines, and other disasters pardonyou listed above - simply because I am an American citizen.

That's right, Mars, you should. These people were murdered simply and specifically because they were Americans. It shouldn't be too hard to make a distinction between that and natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, etc., and your refusal to do so seems just as reflexive as the shallow nationalism you decried.
posted by Dr. Boom at 9:10 AM on September 6, 2002


But it's not true. They were murdered because they were in America, not because they were Americans--which, in fact, many of them weren't.
posted by Raya at 1:48 PM on September 11, 2002


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