On the Anniversary of 9/11, Let Us Pause

Posted on 11. Sep, 2009 by in Uncategorized

“… So on this solemn day, at this sacred hour, once more we pause.”  ~President Obama, from his 9/11 anniversary remarks

To pause is a rarity. To pause is to stop, to stop is to make no progress, and to make no progress is to fall behind. This goes against the unspoken American doctrine of always pushing to be ahead. When you’re not working, someone else is.

In mind of this, on this day, let us all, especially you President Obama, embrace a pause.

The week has been a loud one. On Tuesday, Obama spoke to school children about the importance of education. This was met by plenty of opposition. On Wednesday, Obama spoke to a joint session of congress and the American public about his health care bill. This was met by both loud applause and a disgruntled shout of “You lie!” followed by middle schoolish “ooohs.” Yesterday, Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s shouting incident progressed while pundits all across the media landscape picked through and then discussed Obama’s speech.

Noise. Drone. Talk met with talk, echoed by fingers pounding keyboards.

Perhaps no presidency will be ever be anything but a constant static hiss of opinion from now on. Perhaps no presidency ever was to begin with.

But, on this eighth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Obama directed us to take pause from all of this. In this pause, I reflected and hope that each politician and political commentator did as well. Party factions, death panels, bills — the issues change but the fact that there are issues does not. One of the greatest lessons that can be learned from 9/11 is to take stock of all that we have and interact with, then weigh each item’s true importance.

As president, Obama faces a constant stream of the “most important” things imaginable (economic collapse, the war in Afghanistan, immigration, health care, …). Sure, he knew what he was getting into, but try to imagine the pressure. Then imagine adding a family life on top of that and having to balance where the equal but separate importance of both. For today, he should take out the ear-buds spewing political discourse and reflect. We should do the same. This tragic anniversary is a time to stop the political machine remember.

Outside, rain is falling in New York City. It is symbolic. Not because rain represents the sadness of the day but because rain, if you’re silent — if you pause — is the sound of water splashing down onto surfaces. Nothing more.

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2 Responses to “On the Anniversary of 9/11, Let Us Pause”

  1. Carla

    13. Sep, 2009

    Funny. I don’t want to pause on this day. We’ve paused on this day for far too long, what with a two-front war plus threats of another with Iran and unsuccessfully trying to shore up unstable Pakistan. It all seems to flow from the same dank hole: 9/11. If we’re going to pause, I’d rather we reflect on why we no longer hear the name Osama Bin Laden. Where is he? Why haven’t we found him yet? — No disrespect to the deceased nor their families but memorializing is also about looking forward. So far, this day remains a perpetual look back. So, no, I don’t want 9/11 to be my day of reflection. I don’t want that day to rank in importance with July 4th, MLK, Jr day or even the most meaningless holiday in this capitalist-in-the-extreme-country, Labor Day. Reflecting on 9/11 would be so different if we were at least winning.

  2. nicholas.martinez

    13. Sep, 2009

    Bin Laden is dead. Both the German and French Intelligence agencies confirmed this years ago. Will find the articles about this asap.