that day

And How Are You Commemorating 9/11?

It’s the ninth anniversary of that horrible day, and, this month at least, part of me is like: All we have to show for it is rhetoric about whether we should be restricting Americans’ freedom of speech and right to exercise their religious beliefs wherever they choose! I’m a bit disappointed in my fellow Americans (god, did I just write that?), because while 9/11 isn’t exactly “a teaching moment,” it has been in many ways. And then I listen to the hate — or rather, the fear of those that are different, which is usually the place where hate comes from — exit the mouths of the Sally Kerns of the world, who seem to have no idea what real terrorism is, and think we’re no more enlightened, or awakened, than we were on Sept. 10, 2001. But I’m an optimist. I think things can, and will, improve. And while I’ve never been one of those “let’s all join hands and sing and dance in the streets” kind of girls, I have been a “I’m really too busy to listen to you spew this sort of shit, and I’m tuning you out now.” It would be wholly inappropriate to wish somebody a “Happy 9/11,” because jesus, that’s disgusting. But maybe a “Happy 9/12”? A “Happy From This Point Forward”?

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  • Ratings

    Queerty needs to do away with ratings I agree with another poster here that there’s something wrong the system.

    There’s no reasons for some comments to have a disproportionate amount of ups and downs especially when comments with the majority sentiment are all getting downed. (I.E the gay black post where it’s the same few black posters arguing with a couple of other commenters)

  • EdWoody

    You’re surprised to be disappointed in America? I’m disappointed every day.

  • jester

    just watching james bond team up with osama bin laden to fight the russians in afghanistan.

    not only did they really make this movie (the living daylights) but some movie channel is actually showing it on tv today.

  • Michael @

    By remembering some of its gay victims and heroes.



  • Tessie Tura

    It’s the anniversary of my father’s death as well – 9/11/71. And quite frankly, THAT shaped my life more than the Trade Center bombing did. Really.

  • Baxter

    I stopped caring about it approximately nine years ago.

  • dvlaries

    Whatever else I do on this day, I like to revisit the words now-retired Anna Quindlen wrote for Newsweek in her first post-attack column. In part:

    “Anything can happen when human beings allow ideology to trump their humanity, when they elevate an idea above the lives of individuals. Anything can happen, and too often does. It becomes possible to bomb a black church and kill the four little girls inside. It becomes possible to execute a doctor who performs abortions, shoot him through the window of his own home while his children are nearby.

    It becomes possible to drive a truck full of explosives into the side of the federal building in Oklahoma City and feel the ground buck beneath your feet, to turn a day-care center into a conflagration and refer to the babies and toddlers killed as collateral damage. Perhaps ideologues so divorced from empathy are incapable of feeling even for themselves. Hence, Timothy McVeigh’s dead eyes and stoic stare into the camera as he lay on a gurney in the death chamber. Hence the unimaginable willingness of the men who sent those planes like fiery torpedoes into public buildings to see themselves, as well as their passengers, as merely incidental cargo in the service of some heinous greater good.”

    To people of reasonably good will those words preach to the converted. But, as Queerty news articles make clear day after day, year after year since, the willingness of right-wingers to portray gays as a treacherous Other, attempting to disguise that hate as alleged love of God, Country, Family and Bible, obliviously continues apace.

  • red phone

    It’s odd to read something written in the first person but without a byline.

  • whatever

    I’ve forgotten it. In the grand scheme of this things, it wasn’t a major tragedy. The real tragedy was the Iraq invasion afterwards and what it wrought on our economy, the lives lost– both Americans and Iraqis.

  • Mike

    I’m commemorating 9/11 by having a moment to think about the 500,000 Iraqis who have been killed since then, as a result of George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, in his murderous and terroristic response to 9/11. The 3,000 victims of 9/11 were murdered in cold blood. The 500,000 dead Iraqis did not deserve to die in response to 9/11.

  • Mike

    I’ll also remember 9/11 as the reason that the world is now a lot less safe, because of the US reaction to 9/11. The US response to 9/11 has made the world hate and distrust us a lot more than prior to 9/11, and that is entirely the fault of the US government. The US is seen as a force for horrific evil and murder because of Bush’s thirst for blood. And our influence in the world has been massively damaged.

  • AL

    Wow, there are some really nasty comments here on 9-11 tragedy. It’s incomprehensible how anyone can express any kind of sympathy for the perpetrators of 9-11 attacks. Let’s not forget that this was an attack on American values, one of which is tolerance and acceptance. The hijackers were not friends of the gay community. Anyhow, I don’t want to bring up politics, although some people here had an urge to do so.

    My sympathies go to all the people who perished that tragic day. RIP.

  • whatever

    @AL: You are dumb. Iraqis=perpetrators of 9-11? Oh my.

  • AL

    @whatever: I never said that.

  • whatever

    @AL: The only sympathy I see being directed to non-Americans is Iraqis. I have not read one response that shows any sympathy to al-qaida or the hijackers.

  • S

    @Michael @

    Michael, your comment is well taken. And thank you for posting those beautiful images.

    I’d expand on it a bit and say, “By remembering all of its victims and heroes.”

    I wonder how many thumbs down this comment will get.


    I look at 9/11 as how the Bush administration absolutley one hundred percent totally blew an opportunity to actually make something good out of a horrific tragedy. In a matter of very few hours after the attacks, we knew exactaly who the scumbag was who planned them. We knew the general area of which rock the pathetic scumbag was hiding under. There we nary a single word of anti-Americanism when we went into Afghaninstan to seek out and destroy that scumbag. Yet for Bush suddenly decided to possibly avenge the assination attempt on his Daddy by Hussein decided to basiclly abandon the effort in Afghanstian to invade Iraq who it has been proven time and time again had nothing to do with 9/11.

    We should have simply carpet bombed and leveled every square inch of territory where Bin Ladin was suspected of being. Had we done that we would have sent the strongest message possible. You attack the soil of the United States and kill thousands of innocent civillians and we will hunt you down and not relent untill we destroy you. We would have sent out the strongest message possible to those who plan and harbor them attacks on the United States that we will avenge the attacks with a vengance and not rest until the mission is completed.

    Instead the United States has basically been exposed as a paper tiger. We have turned the entire mission into a clusterfuck. Iraq is a mess, we are basically in Vietnamm 2010 in Afghanastan with no clear and easy way out. Thousands of our troops have been killed or maimed. Many Americans still refuse to acknowledge the groups who seek to destroy the very fabric of our being. We have spend billions of dollars in the “war on terror” and yet our borders are still basically an open door policy. Less than ten percent of the millions of shipping containers who hop skotch the globe in dozens of ports prior to reach our country are scanned and searched. Last week a report was issued warining that we have basically ignored and have no concrete ways to prevent the terrorists right here in this country who are constantly working on planning more attacks on this country.

    What does the date September 11,2010 nine years after the attacks mean? It means we are simply one day closer to the next attack on our soil…………….

  • epluribusunumjk

    I commemorated the day by watching the History Channel and cleaning my condo, all while reflecting on what’s changed over the past 9 years.

    9/11/01 was also the day I accepted that I was gay (15 at the time) and came out shortly thereafter. So…for me, a lot changed that day.

  • TonyD

    We find those weapons of mass distraction yet?

  • Brutus

    @AL: I have no sympathy for violent aggressors and murderers. But I think a better understanding of the situation as a whole is achieved by recognizing that al-Qaeda and others represent a significant community that feels threatened by Western corporate expansion and cultural dominance. They see it as neo-colonialism, with America as the prime culprit.

    It does not excuse their actions. But it makes it possible to imagine why someone would even consider doing such a thing–especially when that person also holds a fundamental religious belief that they are engaged in holy war, and that by dying as a soldier in that war they will receive eternal life in Heaven. The interviews I’ve read that independent journalists conducted with al-Qaeda members are both illuminating and frightening. Their worldview is completely alien to me–for example, they think that we show contempt and disrespect for our women, and treat them like cattle and sheep. Contrast that to how we feel about the hijab and the burka.

    I wish I knew of a peaceful solution.

  • Mike

    If the correct response (well according to Bush & Cheney anyway) to the 9/11 atrocity, is to invade a country (Iraq) which had NOTHING to do with 9/11; resulting in the needless deaths of 500,000 Iraqi civilians; then I wonder what the appropriate response to the illegal invasion of Iraq is? I shudder to think. I suppose we should be grateful for being so heavily armed. The US can murder lots and lots of people, so that should shut them up.

    The US reputation and influence in the world is so massively damaged by our response to 9/11, that I feel our standing as a force for good in the world might be irreparably damaged.

  • AL

    Oh, yeah, how dare America tell those theocratic totalitarian dictatorships to respect human rights. These are alien ideas to them. How dare we to criticize their unique culture! The moral relativism you exhibit is perhaps even more frightening than al-Qaeda’s intentions.

  • Mirza

    @Brutus: You see, being a Muslim myself, I have to point it out to you that the true meaning of Islam has been lostover the years. Moreover, there are different iterpretations of Islam within the Muslim world itself. The al qaida form of Islam isn’t Islam in itself. Cuz u see, Islam’s literal translation from Arabic is peace and tolerance. The Islam that the media shows is the most crude perseption of Islam often followed by third world countries. The people of al qaida, who call themselves Muslims, aren’t even close to what a Muslim means. Most of you do t know what jihad is. It is not war with ppl of other faiths, just because they aren’t Muslims. It is the fight between an individual and his desires. It doesn’t even apply in the materialistic world till the point where the faith is being threatened. An the al qaida version of jihad is not even anything close to it’s real meaning. Therefore these terrorists who claim to be the true Muslims and spread the message of bloodshed aren’t anything close to what a muslim should be. Moreover, the countries like Saudi are a, let’s say, a very reformed form of the taliban. The taliban themselves being the most disgusting people on earth, by taking the name of a religion to carry out their actions. But not all muslim countries adopt such laws. I live in the middle east myself, in Dubai. Here and in many other countries, hijab is not a must. Women are given the same rights as men. Off course there might be a few ups and downs. But it isn’t enough to call it an unfair country. Saudi on the other hand is also disliked by many Muslims because of it’s laws. These laws aren’t Islamic. They’re just implemented through Arabic culture. Islam on the other hand, is a religion that can be adopted by any1 and anywhere on earth. We should always keep in mind that we aren’t at war with the religion Islam, rather with the people who slaughter innocent lives in it’s name, which in itself is not right as an idea itself.

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