I hope you had some time today to commemorate the 9-11 anniversary in your own way, whether through quiet reflection in a moment of silence, sharing your recollections with family and friends, or participating in President Obama’s newly promulgated day of national service and remembrance. While the memories may not feel quite as visceral almost ten years out, it is important to honor the magnitude of loss and sacrifice we experienced as a country on that day, and to remember the reason why we still carry on in Afghanistan. I will say that watching some of the original real-time footage from 2001 brings back the feelings of stunned sadness and anger pretty quickly and intensely.
I will be interested to see whether President Obama’s idea of commemoration through a day of national service catches on in the future. I know there has been some pushback from conservatives who believe the idea is an awkward fit, representing what they consider a left wing “Earth Day-ification” of an otherwise solemn occasion. I think as long as the magnitude of the original event and accompanying loss don’t recede too far into the background, people should be given a fair bit of latitude to commemorate the occasion as they see fit, and of course pass its original meaning on to the next generation as carefully as possible.

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