Why I Avoided All 9/11 Coverage Yesterday

I had a media-free weekend.  Well, electronic media, at least.  I did read the newspaper.  One of the nice things thing about the newspaper is that you can skip the stuff you don’t want to read, which is not possible with TV or radio.

As tragic as 9/11 was — and it was — I find all of the commemorations to be too, too much, and that includes the fountains and the Freedom Tower in New York City.  In his book, The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World, Miroslav Volf accused Americans of building memorials so that those inanimate monuments could do the remembering for us.  When I first heard him speak on that thesis, I was unconvinced.  No more.  Now I think that he’s totally right.

Even as I write this, on the morning of September 12, I’m listening to NPR’s Morning Edition, and what are they talking about? 9/11, of course.

In his weekend column, George Will, with whom I am not predisposed to agree, wrote an excellent column about the difference between this year and the 10-year anniversary of Pearl Harbor, an event which provoked us into a war that cost 50 million lives, 418,000 of which were American.  Maybe we need to read that again: 418,000 Americans died in WWII.

Will writes:

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