By Rachel Kimbrough
In the weeks leading up to the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, national pride swelled to a nearly palpable degree. The History and Discovery channels were crazy with ratings running play-by-plays of that day ten years ago as viewers took the chance to feel like part of something more than themselves—oh, intoxicating patriotism.
Sept. 12 after the ten-year anniversary: not a peep about it.
In this society, in which media consumers fastidiously hold to their “out of sight, out of mind,” mentality, if it’s not flashed in front of your face every hour on the hour, it simply doesn’t matter anymore.
Don’t worry, you unhappily married spouses, you have to appreciate your significant other only one day a year, and that’s Feb. 14. And guess what else? You only have to love your entire family once a year, too, on Dec. 25. Whoopee!
The day after that you can kick the tree to the curb, and smash all the bulbs while you’re at it, if you like.
How too many of us treat Sept. 11 now, like so many other “Hallmark” holidays, is an abomination to what its calendar date represents. There are still 364 other days of the year in which we should all still, for example, bear public safety in mind. Our country’s head is still reeling, and does so all those other 364 days of the year, from the change in our involvement in world politics as a result of those attacks. Yes, and the families of those who died, whether as a direct or indirect result of the attacks, still grieve their losses—all 365 days of the year.
In the same way one should love his spouse and family all 365 days of the year, regardless of whether Hallmark creates a card to mark that appreciation and markets it for a specific day of the year. Regardless of whether the History channel has a heyday with the specific date on which something happened to occur.
So, yeah, we’ve got a 9/11-related article hanging out in the news section this issue—after the anniversary. It is still relevant right now, but there’s something I’ve heard lately that sounds too much like someone complaining about Christmas music playing on Dec. 26: “Nine-eleven has passed. Shouldn’t we be talking about something else?”
Contact Rachel Kimbrough, editor-in-chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org.