We have a fascination for numbers and anniversaries in this nation of ours. Today is the tenth anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. Of course it would be impossible to forget with all the patriotic hoo-hah and frenzy around us. But what makes today any more significant than yesterday - or tomorrow?
In time I'm sure stores will promote Patriot Day sales where you can get an additional 15% off that appliance purchase.
The real legacy of 9/11 isn't the lives lost that day, however. The real legacy is the shredding of the Bill of Rights that has continued unabated through today. The PATRIOT Act. Expanded wiretapping authority. Holding detainees indefinitely without charges. Torture. Metal detectors at municipal and small town courthouses. Scope and grope.
We, the people, have gladly acceded to the demands of the government to give up our freedoms in exchange for some nebulous concept called security. Let's be real for a second, those who wish to do harm to others have always found, and will always find, a way to carry out their acts. We don't live in a bubble.
My freedom is more important to me than worrying about that tiny chance that something bad is going to happen. The world didn't suddenly become more dangerous on September 12, 2001. The world has always been a dangerous place. What happened on that day is the great superpower that threw its weight around all over the world got its comeuppance.
Our government has been responsible for thousands of deaths around the world through our policies and warmongering. No one shed a tear for the innocents who were murdered in Korea, Vietnam, Central America or the Middle East when it was our soldiers or allies doing the killing.
So say a prayer for the men and women who died that day. Remember the sacrifice the police officers and firefighters who rushed into the buildings made. But don't forget the assault on our personal liberties that was "justified" by the events of that day.