The Difference Between a City and a Community
Last night, as they have done for the last 11 years, the towns of Bloomingdale and Butler gathered together to commemorate the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Never mind that it was over a decade ago that nearly 3,000 people perished at the World Trade Center, a half-four trip through northern New Jersey, across the GW or through the Lincoln Tunnel and then some ten miles to Lower Manhattan. It’s even further to the Pentagon and Somerset, Pa.
Never mind that the little Brownie Scouts and the Cub Scouts hadn’t even been born yet or that the high school students who sang “God Bless America” were in nursery school or kindergarten at the time. Many of our community band members weren’t members at the time. That Tuesday night was just like this one, if not quite so chilly. There was no rehearsal at all that night, in deference to the tragedy that occurred.
The New York Times decided that they’d done enough 9/11 coverage. Although the Bergen Record carried a photo of the Jersey City Memorial, along with stories about 9/11. Only one network – Fox News – carried the live memorial service at Ground Zero. Other papers and networks decided to leave it to individual preference as to how best to remember 9/11.
That’s the kind of callousness you can expect to find in a big city. Building One America wants to turn our small towns into callous cities, where people don’t know or care about one another – or history. They certainly don’t want us to remember events like Washington’s visit to the Bloomingdale area, or the Union soldiers from Bloomingdale who went South to fight the Civil War, with their families following them to serve as cooks, medics, and bands. They’d rather we didn’t remember the Hindenburg Disaster or Pearl Harbor. And the Liberals certainly would rather we forget 9/11. They’re quick to remind us of Hiroshima, though.
Butler and Bloomingdale didn’t let their communities down by leaving 9/11 to fashion. They planned a ceremony and invited the community to participate. Although they’re two separate towns, the candlelight walk began at Bloomingdale’s Municipal Building and ended at the park in Butler. This year, it was Bloomingdale Mayor John Dunleavy’s turn to give the speech.
There were prayers, songs from the children, a locally noted singer who sang two songs, and of course, the Bloomingdale Cornet Band. That’s what a community is all about: everyone coming together as neighbors. For a solemn event that occurred eleven years ago, it was quite a good turnout.
Thank you, citizens of Bloomingdale and Butler, for not forgetting 9/11.