This evening on Facebook, someone sent me a request to join an interest group whose sole purpose is to write congress, write the senate, poke, and prod local politicians and the country in general to make September 11th a federal holiday.
I began my written reply to the invitation but, unfortunately, the space is limited to 1,000 characters and, well, as many of you know brevity is not my forte . . . not unless someone else is writing my part.
Regardless of time and space, the writing happened and I posted my reply in the form of a “note” on the group’s page where it is currently being read and causing a stir and adding another voice to what is already a loud argument. There, on that group page, you will find supporters and like-minded thinkers and neutralists; and, there are angry, hurt divides all over the place.
Such is the nature of debate, especially the hashing of an emotionally charged issue. What is happening on that social networking site, on that public page, is an on-going virtual town meeting of the minds.
We’re lucky. It’s a free country.
My Reply to “Make 9/11 a Federal Holiday!!!!”
Not “Holiday.” Please. Anything but “holiday.” Try Memorial. Or Remembrance. A Day of Reflection, A Day of Prayer—but not holiday. Let us not have another excuse not to go to work, another day of Bar-B-Q. “Holiday” would trivialize what happened. Bear with me here.
We have many acknowledgements of war and tragedy on our national calendar: D-Day (US forces stormed the beach at Normandy, France; Pearl Harbor Day (a national day of remembrance of when Japanese forces bombed the US Naval base in O’ahu, Hawaii); Independence Day; Memorial Day, and Veterans Day - and there are more, openly remembered days of loss and tragedy—military and civilian.
There are days of National Observance that are not well known or on standard calendars, such as National POW/MIA Recognition Day—which is not a federal public holiday in the United States but it is a national observance every September.
No offense intended with my comments herein, but let us not “celebrate” the tragedies of so many countrymen, neighbors and towns; they will, and should be allowed to, mark and acknowledge their losses in their own manner be it private or public. It really is not up to the rest of us to decide “holiday” or not.
And, please, do not continue to tell me “Never Forget!” It is insulting to those of us who remember and contemplate 9/11 regularly, peacefully, and with the deepest sincerity. Just because I may not be loud as you does not mean I’m not still angry or broken-hearted or that I am unpatriotic.
One day a year is not enough to honor, remember and give attention to those who made The Ultimate Sacrifice.
One day a year is not enough to be grateful for the dedication and courage of our forefathers, their wives and children, who toiled against all odds to separate us from the tyranny of the throne and fashion a brand new country.
A single day, a town parade, a paper poppy seem inadequate to give thanks to, and for, the servicemen and servicewomen who populate our armed forces. As I recently wrote, the government may run the military but our hometowns go to war . . . and it is the hometowns who feel the losses the deepest.
Remember your freedoms and why you have them.
Remember: every minute of every day someone’s family member is somewhere on the planet ready to defend you, your country, your home and way of life. And, that many are embroiled in volatile acts of war as you go about your daily business.
Know that it is OK to stop and literally say “thank you” when you see a veteran or current member of the armed forces and, just as important, members of the emergency services. Wouldn’t you like someone to thank you for putting your life on the line?
Let us remember and respect the losses and lessons of September 11th, 2001.
And with honesty, with love and conviction we should regularly pray for Peace.
Peace for the families. Peace for the rescuers. Peace for our neighbors and villages. Peace for the decision-makers. And peace for you and me.