Memoralizing an Act of War

I offer no comment, just the story:

STUDENTS at Madrone High School in San Rafael put together a “peace flag” Tuesday in memory of the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Each student received the afternoon off to decorate a square of fabric with a message of peace.

An administrative assistant at the 50-student school brought a sewing machine to work and stitched the flag together. It will be hung inside the school on a wall.

The students also watched a documentary film about the attacks and held an hourlong meeting to share memories.

Incidentally, I attended a local school function last night, during which the administrator did call 9/11 an “event” (apparently it’s been downgraded from even being a tragedy, not just here, but everywhere), but otherwise did all the right things: the local Girl Scouts raised the flag, all who attended recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and a student led us in singing “America” (My County ’tis of Thee). I applaud the school for handling 9/11 with such respect.

2 Responses

  1. Having a man walk on the moon was an “event”.
    The Johnstown flood was a “tragedy”.

    I refuse to call what these evil murderers did an event, and I won’t call it a tragedy either. They’re not appropriate words because they do not attach *responsibility* for the action to its perpetrators .

    9-11 was act of evil and infamy. In particular it was both an act of war and a deliberate slaughter of innocents. There must be a single word that describes this; tragedy is not the word.

  2. I’m with Mike on this….words mean things, and using the wrong words distracts us from the reality of what was done, and from the hard actions that are essential in response, if we are to remain both alive and free.

    I’d planned to suggest “outrage” as a better word, but maybe even that is too soft…….and I’m not sure that a single word can encompass it.

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