A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Patriot Day 2008

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the attacks on the United States by extremist religious fanatics. In the years since the attack, we have given this date the name Patriot Day. It is a day for remembrance of those who died, somber reflection on the events of that day, and a renewed call for unity across political and cultural lines.

It is a day unlike other United States observance days. I hesitate to call it a holiday because, as of now, no one gets time off for this day. It’s just as well; a holiday designation would sanction the sending of Patriot Day cards available from Hallmark, untold Patriot Day sales courtesy of your local malls, and don’t forget to take advantage of the great Patriot Day savings on your next gas-guzzling SUV down at the auto mall.

Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed on what is and what is not acceptable for Patriot far. Perhaps it’s not a question of cool heads. It could very well be that the memory of the events is still too recent for exploitation. The wounds are still open and raw; we are still in a state of shock and have not completed our period of mourning.

I find the call for unity among us United States citizens very curious. It is certainly nice to know that the warring political factions will put aside their divisive campaign tactics for one day so that we may all come together as one nation, but what are we uniting against? Are we standing as one against an enemy that is too cowardly to fight by traditional methods and resort to suicide bombers? If this is what we are fighting against, then the focus of the war is too narrow. We, as a people, should be united against intolerance. That is the real reason the World Trade Center towers collapsed in smoke and fire in 2001. It is the same hatred that brought an airliner crashing into the Pentagon and a field in southwestern Pennsylvania. It is the same disrespect for human rights that is alive and well in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan.

Yes, we can be united against the enemy of peace and human dignity, but we must acknowledge that we are far from prefect ourselves. The fight against intolerance is not a question of pitting us against them. It is a question of admitting that the enemy can lurk within all of us.

I write this not so much as a citizen of the United States, I write this as a human inhabitant of the planet Earth. May God give us the wisdom to use the lessons of Patriot Day to find peace within ourselves and those with whom we share our lives on this planet.


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