Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Talking Points for 10th Anniversary of 9/11

The 10th Anniversary of September 11th is ten days away.  The White House has issued a set of guidelines – two sets actually, one for overseas diplomats, the other for officials here in the United States – as to the proper way to commemorate the day.  The New York Times first reported on the issuance of the talking points.

The White House, desiring diplomats to maintain a partnership with foreign countries, wants our ambassadors to note in their remarks that the United States is not alone in being victimized by terrorism.  Just plain old terrorism, mind you, not Islamic terrorism.  This is necessary, Obama says, in order to gain the cooperation of other countries in the battle against terrorism.

He also wants all references to Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda deleted.  According to the White House, since Obama’s death, the terrorist organization is irrelevant.

Here in the Untied States, he wants observers to focus on community service.  Obama wants Americans to adopt a positive, forward-thinking attitude on 9/11.  Never mind those searing pictures of the second plane plunging through the south tower, people leaping from the flames, first the south, then the north tower crumbling into rubble.

Forget about the horrible 9/11 phone calls from workers trapped in the towers with no way out, screaming as the building collapsed under them.  Forget about the images of the burning Pentagon, symbol of our determination to protect ourselves against all enemies foreign and domestic.  Certainly never mind about the courage of the Flight 93 passengers.  That happened way out in a field in Western Pennsylvania.  Ever been on the Pennsylvania Turnpike?  Do you know how deserted it is between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh?  Don’t even go there.  Congress doesn’t, even though the ungrateful, arrogant members of Congress ought to be out there every single 9/11, on their knees in gratitude to Flight 93’s passengers.  There are no good restaurants out there in the wilderness.  There aren’t even any bad restaurants.  What?  Who, us?  Go out there, to the middle of Pennsylvania?  Why, we’ll just honor them here on the steps of the Capitol.


As for those of you in the Metropolitan New York-New Jersey, don’t even think of going to Ground Zero on 9/11.  It’s for the families.  That’s okay.  But apparently, the ceremony is only for family members whose relatives worked in the building, not for the families of rescue workers who died there – and of course, the politicians.  At least this time George W. Bush is allowed to attend the ceremony.  He was barred from going there while he was President, all because he reacted to the incident in a calm, controlled manner, rather than panicking.  He got all the facts before making decisions.  Some nerve.

Above all, you must not pray.  Not at Ground Zero, certainly.  All clergy have been banned from the ceremony.  The politicians are welcome; God is not.  Mayor Bloomberg has been taken to task for this decision, but he is standing firmer than a 30-foot concrete piling in the midst of a Category Five Hurricane.  Nothing in heaven, on the earth, in the wind, or the seven seas, will move him from his stance.  No God.  God showed Manhattan mercy, even when the eye wall of Hurricane Irene passed right over Manhattan.  Mayor Bloomberg has no intention of returning the favor.   If the politicians cannot make stump speeches at the ceremony, even though they’ll get plenty of face-time up there on the podium, then neither can God’s communications strategists.

The real person’s guidelines are easier to remember:  Reflect.  Pray.  Remember (and never forget).


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