A look at the least important things in life

Famous Dead People of the Week: Those Lost on 9/11

Name: Multiple

Life: Varied

Occupation: Many

Why They’re Famous: Died as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks

Fun Fact: Can’t think of anything fun about 9/11

At dinner Sunday night, someone mentioned 9/11 and its impending return. As always when the topic is the nation’s foremost example of domestic terrorism, remorse was expressed. However, this remorse was a little different.

“I kind of forgot that it was coming up,” this person whispered to our group as though to think it, let alone admit it, was a grave mistake.

Eleven years removed from the event, it’s easy to see how that might happen. We’ve had a lot of desensitization in the past year. The Sandusky case, Aurora, the laughable clusterf*%& that this year’s Presidential election is becoming…it’s not like tragedy is confined to the heart of Manhattan. Bad things happen everywhere.

I think that’s one of the things that makes 9/11 so special every year, at least to me. Once a year, we all stop and remember that yes, we can get along with one another and rise above the mess we make of our nation from time to time. It’s a day politicians stop bickering long enough to find some common ground. We salute our troops, hug our momma’s and are thankful that it wasn’t us that day, as it so easily could’ve been.

Is everyone sincere in there 9/11-memoriamness? I’d like to think so, but probably not. I know that the season finale of America’s Got Talent (my favorite and only reality TV guilty pleasure) is airing the day after 9/11 this year; my wife and I are already discussing who we think will try to tug at America’s heartstrings with the most poignant 9/11-based act (for the record, my money is on Joe Castillo). Since it’s an election year, I am super-pumped for both candidates to jump on any and all 9/11-related softballs tossed at them by a media corps that seems hungry for any kind of relevant quote – talk about a thankless job in journalism there. Major League Baseball and the NFL do tributes, but it’s difficult to discern whether it’s out of obligation or a sincere desire for fans and players to remember those events.

Maybe these people all have heartfelt feelings they’re trying to convey to the country; maybe they just say things that people want to hear. It doesn’t really matter. My opinions and memories don’t matter to anyone but me, which is how it should be; I wasn’t there and I don’t matter. Rather, it’s the collective consciousness we all have of a day no one should have had to experience that endures. Not to get all ‘Bill Pullman in Independence Day’ on everybody, but that was the day we all decided to band together and do some good. Maybe we’ve drifted from that; maybe we never meant it in the first place. We’re only human, after all.

Since we’re only human, it’s understandable to forget the day is upon us. Thinking about 9/11 too often isn’t healthy; you’ll be sad and depressed, if you’re a normal person. But tomorrow, remember there are roughly 3,000 people that might still be with us (not including those that perished on foreign soil due to the War on Terror) if 9/11 had never happened. It’s as important for us to be reminded as it is for them to be remembered.

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