I’m A Patriotic Pagan But I’m Tired of 9/11

I remember where I was. I was watching tv when the second plane came out of nowhere and Peter Jennings lost his cool on air. I was scared, I had nightmares, and I prayed for the victims and their families.

But 11 years later, I think I know less about 9/11 than on that first horrible day. I’ve had over a decade of misinformation, jingoism, and illogical cries of war hurled at me, and every anniversary of that terrible date begins to wear on me more and more. This has gone from being a real tragedy to some spin doctor’s modern version of Remember the Maine! replete with yellow journalism.

I believe in the founding principles of my country. I vote. I pray to Columbia that our nation lives up to the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I celebrate the 4th of July. I honor our troops and our vets. I care about my fellow citizens. I remember the tragedy of that day. I am a Patriotic Pagan. Too patriotic for some folks.

I just can’t deal with 9/11 anymore though. I feel like it’s been taken away from those of us who lived through that day and belongs to political propagandists and advertising gurus. It no longer represents the people who died that day, or the political and financial decisions that led up to it, or the unity we felt afterwards. Those initial tragic deaths have had thousands more piled upon them by our own government engaging in ineffective and potentially illegal warfare. The tragedy and death toll has grown too thick to bear contemplating.

When Osama bin Laden was killed almost ten years after 9/11, it seemed an empty act after all that time, and after all this death. I almost felt angry I was supposed to have a positive response, after all these years of emotional manipulation by the government and advertising industry.

I remember that day. I remember being glued to the television, watching people jump, watching journalists lose their cool, watching the buildings fall. Wondering if there were more targets. Waiting to hear if CNN or the CDC had been hit in Atlanta. Worrying that Muslims in the US would face increased hate crimes and discrimination. Worrying that this was just the first wave of an invading force. Worrying that we were about to descend into WW3.

What I remember about that day, and what the media keeps shoving at me are two different things. I am tired of 9/11. Of memorials and tributes and monuments and television specials. I may be a Patriotic Pagan, but for goodness sake, can’t we just be left alone to grieve this year without the jingoistic flag waving being shoved in our face? Just this once?

That said, I think a memorial to Flight 93 is fitting and encourage people to donate.

Every year on 9/11 I say prayers for those who died as a result of this tragedy, and I listen to this:

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About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Carron/100001353268347 David Carron

    “This has gone from being a real tragedy to some spin doctor’s modern version of Remember the Maine! replete with yellow journalism.”

    I remember being taught in school that yellow journalism didn’t exist anymore.   I believe that Fox News begs to differ. 

    • GOPagan

      Yeah, because the NYT, CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS are bastions of objective and fair journalism. *rolls eyes*

  • http://twitter.com/Turtle_Dawn Crystal Dawn

    Thank you! I feel the exact same way.

  • http://twitter.com/thelettuceman Marc

    Ugh.  This is awesome.  Thank you. 

  • Nictac2110

    I’m not sure how to say this other than,  It’s not about the politics…it’s about our fellow Americans that lost their lives and the people that lost them. It’s about sticking together and remembering that, no matter how bad our political system may be, this is still our home….and people are still hurting. I didn’t lose anyone I knew that day, but I felt the loss for our country. Show some respect for those that are lost. Just stop watching t.v. or reading articles about it, if it bothers you that much.

    • Robert Mathiesen

      And you don’t see how this statement of yours is itself a political statement?  Not a partisan statement, but still a political one.  Are we and our fellow Americans in fact one community, beyond all dispute?  Most would say we are, but many thoughtful people think otherwise.  From their point of view, statements such as yours have a political goal, namely, the goal of creating and reinforcing the politically valuable illusion of a community that is not really there.  Think about it a little more, please.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stormyeyebright Amber Sunday Williams

       It is very hard to stop watching television and reading articles when they are everywhere, every year, etc.  She wrote an article about it because it bothers her.  She didn’t just sit there and say I’m going to keep my mouth shut and ignore it.  Action is far better than submission in this case.  Good article Star.

    • Scott Messinger

       I didn’t know anyone who died on 9/11.  I don’t know anyone who lost anyone on 9/11.  While I can understand the feelings, it’s really not personal.  I think it is the same way for a lot of Americans, but we all go along with everyone else because it would seem unpatriotic to say we’ve moved on.  To me 9/11 is just another day, like December 7th.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Anna.Greenflame Anna Greenflame

    Yes. This. Exactly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1197543165 Eric Devries

    It’s dreadful now, all politics. Since this went down folks have been scrambling to figure a way to score some points with their consituents or make a buck off of it. I don’t watch or listen to anything related to it. Love and blessings on the survivors, the police, the fire department and the families.

  • Annette Kimball

    Thank you SO much for this post.  I shared the clip/poem with close friends and family who feel this truth as well, and it is comforting to know that this perspective is also, “not forgotten”.  I truly hope we as a nation “never forget”, because history repeats itself when we do…

  • Philip Posehn

    Thank you. You said this well. A solemn occasion has been become nothing more than a bloody shirt to wave so as to inflame passion and incite the people to blindly authorize the shedding of more blood, no matter whose.

  • Vivianna

    I agree.  All of those years since 2001, I cannot bring myself to watch a single movie or documentary special about this day.  I lived through it, I remember it, it was an awesome moment filled with blinding pain, confusion, sadness, and solidarity (that was then squandered/misused). 

    Is this how people who lived through the depression or WWII feel about specials that come on TV/movies about those topics?  Do they think, “Thanks for remembering but this is not truly my story/our story/how it really was?”  I don’t know.  But that is how I feel about this particular day. 

    I remember this day and say thank you to the souls lost in DC, PA and NY for the lessons they have taught me and this world.  I send distance reiki on this day to all the beings on this earth who have lost someone they love.  I find ways to laugh and share joy.  I do not this re-framed sanitized, or mischaracterized for me -  I lived it. 

    Thanks as always Star!  (For articulating the difficult and complex emotions that come with a topic!)

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

       “Is this how people who lived through the depression or WWII feel about specials that come on TV/movies about those topics?”
      My grandfather (on my mother’s side) lied about his age to join up in world war two. He got shipped off to south east Asia. There are only two constants about him from that conflict. One, he has an undying hatred of the Japanese. Two, he really dislikes the memorial services year after year. He has spent a lot of time trying not to remember all his friends dying but, every year, the entire country comes together to remind him.

      How can you grieve and move on when the world will not give that luxury?

  • http://www.facebook.com/morgandrakeeckstein Morgan Drake Eckstein

    I completely understand how you feel. I gave up caring about the “political” version of 9/11 within six months of it happening. I will remember the victims, but I honestly think that we have gone too far in our efforts to make everyone feel safe.  

  • Kilmrnock

    We all lived it …………..that day took the breath of every American , still hurts . We must remember it the right way , not as political or commercial BS , but to remember those that died then and since on both sides . this pain and killing needs to stop , so we all can heal .

  • http://vermillionrush.wordpress.com/ Vermillion

    As an NYCer I can tell you that aside from the families who lost loved ones, tourists and pundits and news anchors are lot more vocal and caterwaul-y about their reactions to this then those of us who lived, breathed and ran away from the towers falling. It’s crappy.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    I agree with you very much, Star; I’m totally ambivalent about the entire occasion for a thousand reasons…

    But, I thank you very much indeed, not only for your post, but also for the Ani DiFranco poem–I had not heard it before, and as someone who has enjoyed her work over the years as I heard it from other people (though I did see her at my undergrad college when she did a free show for us!), I’m happy to hear her (awesome!) voice on this matter.