What to Do on 9/11/2002

Taken from Online Spin. There are some very good points here as each of us decides how to spend the first annual 9/11 day:

Monday, August 12, 2002
September 11: National Time-Out Day?
By David L. Smith

As we get closer to September 11, many of us are reflecting backwards to 9/11/2001 and what has happened since. And if you are like most Americans, you are starting to think about what is the proper thing to be doing this year on September 11.

It�s clear that we cannot just do �business as usual�. In fact, there is a serious question as to whether we can do �business� at all that day. This however, does not mean any shred of victory for the terrorists who so effectively penetrated our lives last year.

We do need to recognize that we have a �day of remembrance� coming up. Not a declared holiday, but a special day all the same. So, what should we do about it?

We have talked it over inside our company and agreed that this is a great opportunity for a �National Time-Out Day�. We do not suggest necessarily making this a recurring holiday. After all, what have holidays become but another reason to gorge ourselves on food and drink and have some kind of party. We are talking about something much more introspective. Something that causes us to rethink our priorities, honor those who perished on that horrific day, pay attention to what really matters (home, family, country) and celebrate the independence of thought and action and acceptance of others that the USA is all about.

Interesting that Memorial Day was originally about remembering those who fought in the wars to protect our freedom. Now it is all about a big auto race. The 4th of July was to honor our country. And we do wear the red, white and blue. But we also drink more than any other holiday if the aisles at 7/11 are any clue at all about consumption. And when you think of 4th of July, does anything come up bigger than fireworks? Labor Day was set aside to celebrate the �wobblies� and others who marched in the streets and obtained freedom for the working people today for fair wages, benefits and decent workplace standards. I am very conscious of this, as my grandparents were very active in the labor movement at the start of the last century. And yet, I confess to not giving it much thought during the Labor Day weekend which is now more a combination of what can we cram in before summer is over/how do we get our son ready for school.

So we have some suggestions:

Don�t go to work. Call in well. Or, forward this to your boss and their boss and get permission for a little flex time for all of your co-workers
Consider keeping your kids out of school or encourage the schools to address this in a meaningful way. If you can keep them out of school, do something you would not normally do with them.
Go to church. Even if you don�t have one.
Give a day to a charity. Your whole family.
Go ahead; work if that makes the most sense for you. One of my employees believes that by not working, �they� win. OK, so it is �about the economy� and not letting terrorists interrupt our lives. We need to be conscious of this. But if you are going to work, take the day to do that meaningful project that makes a difference for your company and yourself.
Take your family and friends to�
- The beach to study tidal pools
- A hike around a mountain lake
- A historical museum
- A place that celebrates American heritage
- Ground Zero and participate in the memorial services there
In other words, do what feels right. One of the great things about the US of A is our personal freedom. Something that nobody can take away. Just as we have many religions that are practiced here, we have the freedom to not practice religion or practice in our own personal way. But we urge you to think about doing something out of the ordinary. Something that changes things around a little bit in your life.

Take time out.

Change your pattern.

Question your priorities.

Think about what matters in life.

I am publishing this today in MediaPost and then sending it out later this week as the Anvil, Mediasmith�s monthly newsletter. Please forward this to as many people as you can. Feel free to add your thoughts to this as you pass it on. Or go to MediaPost�s Online Spin to post your own ideas on how to celebrate our freedom. No matter what happened last year, the USA remains the best place on earth. Celebrate that!

-- David L. Smith

Some thoughts from others at Mediasmith�

9/11 has affected me directly much less than those who lost loved ones, friends or associates. Still, it has affected us all, in a way that may not be easily measurable. It has created a subdued feeling in our country that is part sorrow and remembrance, fear and hope. We live with this now, and maybe we will for some time. For me, the thoughts of the tragedy will likely not cause me to drastically alter my actions, or even my thoughts, on this day in particular. Instead, I will continue to use the memory of 9/11 to influence my thoughts and actions, as they have in the past, and as I can, to make me a better person. -- Eliot Kent-Uritam

Well, this is a tough issue to talk about because everyone has such different reactions. But, like you said, it comes down to the fact that we are allowed and encouraged to have different opinions in this country. I definitely think that this day deserves reflection and taking time to remember. Some have said it's time to move on and not be morbid, but our public memory is short as it is- we need to make an effort to respect the lessons learned from tragedy. Part of this reflection should be not just mourning the lost but truly looking at the events and actions that have led us all to this precarious place in history. I feel that a long hard look at US foreign policy and economic imperialism is in order. When I mention this, the usual response is that there is nothing we could have done that would justify the terrorism. Of course not, and I do not even want to justify the heinous acts. But, we take the same approach to so many things in our culture- treating the symptom and not looking at the root cause. For instance, clean up 6th street and kick out all the homeless folks down there. Okay, so kick them out so they can go roam another part of town? Why don't we take a good look at some programs that will help those who are out there and mentally ill, or clinics for the addicts, or the training and education available to minorities? So, rather than nurture hatred and foster the continuation of bombings and death, perhaps we can look at the cycle and begin to lead with reason, nurture and thinking of the future (can we get a woman in office, please?) Yes, I definitely think we need to mark the day in history, but not just as a time for mourning. As a time to grow and progress as people and make sure this is not repeated. Like you were saying- teach your child something good, turn off the TV and write down some thoughts on our shared situation. I would like to talk to both the clients and the vendors about appropriate action if this is something we push ahead with and figure out a way to mark the day appropriately. -- Lauren Pattison


Historically and geographically, the United States has been an insular country. It was founded on the desire for independence from European religious and political entanglements. The 20th century brought us back into the world mix with a vengeance. The cold war chess game placed our military and money into places around the world. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, we find ourselves a uni-polar hegemon. The purpose of this reader�s digest history, you ask? 9/11 rocked the very foundation of this insularity. Our choices are to either strike out viciously and blindly or to assess the origins of this violence. Nothing mitigates the horror perpetrated by the terrorists, but to point to wild-eyed fanatics and Osama bogeymen is sheer ignorance. These were educated middleclass men who traded in a shot at suburban comforts to inflict massive amounts and death and destruction. If you want to do something useful 9/11, read a translated book; see a foreign film, look at a globe and say, �I�m here.� Figure out where you are vis-�-vis the world. Note differences in national attitudes towards work, family and love. This is not an exercise in humility or self-deprecation; it will most likely make you prouder than ever to be an American. -- Derek Leedy

I know I�m going to see the pictures in my mind. I know I�m going to feel very sad and powerless against events like the World Trade Towers destruction. But I also know I will still be proud and happy to be an American. I know too that I will get up and hug my son and my husband and be positive about the future and my life, my relatives, my coworkers and my friends in America. -- Karen T. McFee

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by Steve Hall    Aug-14-02   Click to Comment   
  

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