Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Tragedy of Sept.11 Only Gets Worse

Every September 11 since 2001 has been a day to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks, but it should also be a day to remember the wars. Because just as we should never forget the men and women who died that day, we should never forget the mistakes we made in the days that followed.

In emotional impact 9/11 is often compared to Pearl Harbour, but there is an important difference, where the memory of the Japanese attack on a US navy base is inextricably linked to the second World War, the memory of the Twin Towers being destroyed by terrorists is somehow separated from the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

Consistent polling shows that Americans now think going into Afghanistan and Iraq was a mistake, yet in the months that followed 9/11 polls regularly showed that a clear majority supported those invasions. This reversal of opinion indicates that after that tragic day in September, Americans overcome with emotion, perhaps rightly so, sought a form of justice their calmer and more rational selves would later regret.

This explains why the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are not remembered with 9/11, being unpopular mistakes they are nothing like the much more noble war the tragedy at Pearl Harbour is so connected to. However in only remembering the 9/11 terrorist attacks and not the mistakes we made as a result we are only made the more likely to be blinded by emotion in the future.

And then the tragedy of 9/11 would only be made that much worse.

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