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Monday, September 11, 2006


Moments of Silence

My principal came on the intercom about half an hour before dismissal today to do what had been left undone this morning due to the rush and confusion of the beginning of the school year. He had two students do readings about September 11th and he spoke a bit himself about the way we mark the anniversary. And of course there was a moment of silence.

I was in a sixth grade class when the announcement came on and the sixth graders did what most sixth graders would. Most of them listened politely. Many of them doodled in their notebooks. When music drifted in from the street during the moment of silence, a couple of them started bopping a little in their seats. (A quick stern look stopped that in its tracks.)

After the announcements had ended, I talked for a minute about the moment of silence and what we're supposed to do during it. The kids thought that I was lecturing them about being fidgety or something, because I got the standard "sit still and listen" answers. Once they caught on that I wasn't telling them what they should have done, I got some students suggesting that a moment of silence might be filled with a prayer, which I said sounded like a good idea if you were religious. I had another student offer that thinking of the victims might be a good idea.

I added that most of them probably knew someone who'd been affected by the attacks, either someone who'd had a family member in the towers or maybe someone in the service who's fighting today because of what happened. I told them that, even though they were only in first grade when the attacks happened, they might want to remember what had happened to them that day.

Personally, I did what I always do during silent moments in the remembrance of the day. I thought about where I was that day and I gave thanks for the people I was with. I thought about all of the truly horrendous things that have been done in the name of that day and I wished for it to stop. I thought about the people that died that day and I tried not to cry about all of the people who've died since. I thought about the changes that I've made since that day and I vowed to change further.

And in the end, I'll commemorate this day the same as I did last year: by saying Fuck George Bush.

In September of 1939 half of everyone we were related to died in Warsaw and on the withering front lines as Poland bravely but forlornly tried to stave off the Nazi armies. Later an uncle of mine lost both legs while serving with Patton's 3rd Army. I heard a story later about how an aunt of mine was drawn and quartered by the SS in Poznan because she was hiding Jews. I wasn't born when all those things happened, but they are family stories and they make me sad when I remember how my uncle would roll his chair up to the plate to hit a siftball and we kids would fight to be able to "pinch run" for him.

I commemorate those things every year around the 4th of July the same way: by saying Fuck Franklin Roosevelt.
RW, you'll forgive me for asking this, but I'm genuinely unsure:

Do you actually have a problem with FDR because of how long he took to get America into the war and the lives that could have possibly been saved if we'd joined sooner or are you offended by my glib and disrespectful attitude toward our current commander?

If it's the latter, I did a very poor job of explaining, I guess, how angry I am with Bush for the things he's done in the name of September 11th, things like rolling back civil rights and justifying a war that he and his backers had wanted for a long, long time, then lying about the reasons he took us there. Saying Fuck You is an incredibly inelegant way of expressing anger, but I stand by it.
I am no friend of this President, and just last week signed a petition to add the Withdraw From Iraq issue to the ballot here in Illinois this November.

But I am fairly certain President Bush didn't order the attack on the World Trade Center. Yet you are angrier at him than the people who were behind that.

I find that odd, and simply wanted to demonstrate the absurdity of what I felt I was reading.

I didn't get it. Please forgive the license - but perhaps the editor in me kicked in and said "why is he blaming Bush for WTC?"

I think al Qaida did that.
With all due respect to all parties involved, as I regularly visit your respective works, I'll spare everyone here the more conspiratorial of my thoughts, because, yes they go there; however, while GWB may not have ordered the attacks on the WTC *ahem*, there are a number of things he has done since the supposed hunt for OBL/Al Qaeda that have had nothing to do with same.

Starting with pulling out of Afghanistan, at a time we had OBL on the run...based on what we're told.

From the falsely reasoned push into Iraq, to the current preparations to go into Iran, with stops to Valerie Plame, "Mission Accomplished", focusing on gay marriage and stem cell research during electorally important times, the economy, censorship, Terry Schiavo, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc. in between; GWB has done nothing to not earn a hearty "fuck you" at the end of each and every single day.

And he and his cronies have managed to do all of this due to the juice he unjustly received because of September 11th, 2001.

Hate to say it, but GWB is no FDR. Not by a long shot.
I think that giving us a recitation of the day relative to kids in a grade school on 9/11 and ending with pinning all that on George Bush is - at the very least - bad writing.

*Wondering* about conspiracies is the same kind of fear-mongering you blame Bush for.

It will take a little more intellectual rigor than that to prove the case. If we're not just blowing a double standarde out our asses, that is.

But just for the sake of the PC crowd - Fuck FDR anyhow.
There's a PC crowd? Around here?
Again, RW, I'm not pinning 9/11 on Bush. I'm expressing how I feel about what he and his administration have done since.

He took a situation in which Americans were scared, in which nations around the world had rallied around us, in which he could have done significant things to actually improve the situation around the globe and he pissed it all away by using it as an excuse to start a war that he'd been hankerin' for.

And since then, he's lied to the American people, he's worked on eroding our civil rights, he's driven our international image into the ground with posturing and torture and CIA prison camps. And for that, I say fuck him.

I wrote what I was feeling.
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