December 12, 2001 4:23 AM   Subscribe

familiesofseptember11.org is the website for the advocacy/political action groups being formed by the families of 9.11 victims. WTC United Family Group is another. Do these families have too much influence on post-9.11 policy or is it their right as someone directly affected?
posted by owillis (14 comments total)
Acording to their press release, Families Of September 11th says: "The group initially wants to influence decisions on memorials at the crash sites, aid and compensation for the victims and families, and aviation security. Other issues the group plans to take up include improvements in high-rise building safety, national intelligence, immigration policy, and bioterrorism preparedness. "
posted by owillis at 4:25 AM on December 12, 2001

I would say it is the right of any group of American citizens to make common cause and get involved in their government.

I worry perhaps that other interests could hijack (sorry about that) the cachet of Sep. 11 victims and their families in order to advance their own agendas. Like, say, if I heard Ashcroft was involved with these folks I would be rather wary.

How would you engage in a reasoned debate with someone/group who could always say, "Well, you wouldn't say that if your father/mother/brother/sister/cousin plummeted 80 stories to his/her death on that fateful day."
posted by rocketpup at 4:53 AM on December 12, 2001

Seems mopre decent than the friggin lobby groups inudating Washington for commerical interests.
note, though, that there is already talk of a national holiday to honor this date, with a day off from work, unlike Pearl Harbor Day. Good or bad idea? I am not sure in my mind.
posted by Postroad at 5:02 AM on December 12, 2001

Good idea...I wouldn't have to work that day.
posted by HoldenCaulfield at 5:19 AM on December 12, 2001

Why is there a hierarchy of victimhood? Those who died in New York City seem to rate above those who died on Flight 93, and far above those who died at the Pentagon. What about people who died on September 11, 2001 of natural causes or illness or murder or accidents or suicide? Each day I become more uncomfortable with the sacralizaton of 9/11's "special" victims.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:25 AM on December 12, 2001

NYC was simply first (by a matter of minutes) and visually spectacular and featured a greater quantity of destruction and carnage. The collapse of a mighty tower is also highly symbolic.

To FS11.org's credit, they do state that they are inclusive and are trying to contact all families involved, from the tower workers, to the pentagon workers, to the plane passengers to the emergency personnel.

I wasn't around, but I imagine survivors and families of Pearl Harbor were similarly sacralized taking into account the lack of as efficient a media machine to pound the point home to everybody else every waking second.
posted by rocketpup at 5:55 AM on December 12, 2001

Dateline: April 11, 2006

Former President GW Bush Attends 55 Month Memorial of September 11 WTC Attacks

Although the 3500 homocides committed during the 9/11 attacks were heinous, so were the 150 homocides of the Oklahoma City bombing. Not one of those lives lost on 9/11 was more dear than any lost to Tim McVeigh, so the increase in magnitude of the wickedness is linear, not exponential like the Shrub and his pals portray it. One statistic has not been released, that being the estimate of casuaties inflicted on the Taliban and Al Qaeda. I would imagine that number to be in the vicinity of 20,000, or a "6 eyes for 1 eye" retaliation.

For now, the families have some pull on a topic with which they agree (wiping out the Taliban), but once issues move beyond killing fundamentalist muslims, the issues become grayer (financing airline security measures) and the families' common voice will become diluted.

If the Shrub is going to ride this coattail into reelection, he will have to keep the families united on issues and ensure that future steps in extracting revenge get placed squarely in front of the American public (something he may want to consider when deciding which military tribunals will be performed in secrecy).

posted by mischief at 6:02 AM on December 12, 2001

Those who died in New York City seem to rate above those who died on Flight 93, and far above those who died at the Pentagon.

Not to mention those who die in disasters elsewhere. See Anne Karpf's The Hierarchy of Death (from The Guardian).

...the vast project of body-part retrieval in Lower Manhattan is probably the most exorbitant expenditure on the dead in our lifetime... up to a million tissue samples will be examined by forensic pathologists, radiologists, anthropologists and dentists trying to match DNA material from victims' toothbrushes or relatives' mouths with fragments recovered from the twin towers...

How does it feel to the rest of the world to see the care lavished on the parings of American bodies in death, such as no complete third world body ever receives in life?
posted by ferris at 6:31 AM on December 12, 2001

Here's a good article on the differences of opinions about the various groups affected from the Washington Post .

My favorite quote from a fireman's widow : "The families of the rescue workers "absolutely deserve more than the office workers"

Seems some people are just missing the point.
posted by Irontom at 8:21 AM on December 12, 2001

ferris: those third world societies can built their own damn first-world societies with forensic pathologists, radiologists, anthropologists, dentists, and DNA testing. Or as it happens, they can ride our coattails and thank us later for inventing most of those things. Or are you (or Karpf) suggesting we should make up for every deficiency in every society?
posted by dhartung at 11:40 AM on December 12, 2001

From your weblog, dhartung, it looks like you're a network engineer, and are not a forensic pathologist, radiologist, anthropologist, dentist, or involved in DNA testing. I'm making an assumption here, but I doubt you were involved in the development of any of the techniques those people use in the identification of corpses. So do you really mean that those third world nations can ride "our" coattails, and thank "us"? Seems a bit presumptuous to me.
posted by Doug at 12:53 PM on December 12, 2001

Seems a bit presumptuous, maybe to you, but none of the specializations named were developed by any one person or, for that matter, any one discipline. Technological advances come from the input and labor of many different people, including the guy who delivers the printer paper.

So, yes, third world countries can ride our first world coattails and thank us (or better yet, PAY us!).
posted by mischief at 1:10 PM on December 12, 2001

Mischief: Then I'm sure you'd agree that Mitch Simmons was robbed of the Nobel prize in paper delivery this year. What a sham!

If we're going to extend the praise of developments in the medical fields to deliverymen, then surely we have to include the workers in the third world who provide us with such a large pecentage of our goods.
posted by Doug at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2001

then surely we have to include the workers in the third world who provide us with such a large pecentage of our goods

Fine by me. So, why can't they pay for our prescription drugs? Maybe they should invest in a few used copies of Trump: The Art of the Deal.
posted by mischief at 5:04 AM on December 13, 2001

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