Three weeks from now will be the eighth anniversary of that horrible day that the world changed; September 11, 2001. And it it clear by the actions of our government that they want the citizens of the US to forget what happened in NY and Pennsylvania and the Pentagon that day.
President Barack Obama is asking Americans to volunteer on Sept. 11, making this year’s anniversary of the terror attacks the first National Day of Service and Remembrance, organizers announced Thursday.
“Our ultimate goal is to leave a positive legacy that honors the victims and those who rose in service,” said David Paine, the president of MyGoodDeed, one of the organizations responsible for the event.
Paine joined other members of the 9/11 community to unveil a national campaign to build support for the privately funded effort. They urged volunteers to use a Web site launched Thursday that shares service projects and opportunities throughout the country.
Volunteers may choose any kind of activity, from working in a Harlem community garden and mentoring school children to performing music.
A national day of service may very well be an appropriate way to celebrate 9/11. Especially if it was service in a way that promotes freedom and liberty. But the president and his flock is talking about using the day to talk about promoting green jobs and other things in the POTUS agenda. This politicization blurs the importance of remembering what happened on that day.
Keep faith with 9/11: Official observances must not obscure day’s true meaning
By act of Congress and the signature of President Obama, the eighth anniversary of 9/11 will be America’s first officially designated National Day of Service and Remembrance.
How must this day unfold?
With reverence unsullied by politics or commerce.
With memory focused on the barbarity visited upon the United States.
With determination redoubled to protect the shores and defeat those who would murder again.
The concept of making service a hallmark of 9/11 anniversaries was championed by MyGoodDeed, an organization founded by family and friends of people killed in the attacks.
The group’s mission statement calls for honoring “the victims of 9/11 and those who rose to service in response to the attacks by encouraging” good deeds and various volunteer activities.
“In this way we hope to create a lasting and forward-looking legacy – annually rekindling the spirit of service, tolerance, and compassion that unified America and the world in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks,” the statement says.
To reclaim the unity of purpose that gripped the nation when anger and grief were strong and resolve even stronger would be wondrous. If a burst of selflessness does the trick, count us in.
But there are dangers.
Acts of kindness are easily distorted into propaganda, issues advocacy and attempts to redefine 9/11 for political purposes. This cheapening has already happened, and in the most inappropriate place – the White House.
The Obama administration supports creating clean energy jobs in cities through a campaign called Green the Block, started by the groups Green For All and the Hip Hop Caucus. After cabinet officials met with leaders of the organizations in the West Wing, aides posted a video and a statement on the White House blog.
Van Jones, an Obama environmental adviser, said 9/11 would be an opportunity to “connect, to find other people in your peer group who are also passionate about repowering America but also greening up America and cleaning up America.”
And the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, head of the Hip Hop Caucus said:
“The first milestone for Green the Block will be on our National Day of Service, Sept. 11, 2009, where we will organize Green the Block service events around the country in coordination with the President’s initiative, United We Serve.”
No. Wrong. Entirely wrong.
9/11 is not about green jobs or health care or bank bailouts or about the ideologies and egos of celebrities who are planning concerts and other performances this year. To them, hands off.
And “remembrance” must not, must never, be forgotten.
It would be sacrilege to smother 3,000 murders under gauzy and fleeting good feelings.
It would be a gross betrayal to gloss the evil that targeted – and still targets – America.