9/11: Oh, How We Remember Things Differently


By James H. Fitzgerald

I have been trying to avoid 9/11.  As a New Yorker and as someone who does not, yet, live in a bunker cut off from the rest of the world, this has been impossible.  The media is whipping up its usual 9/11 circus but with added zest for the decade anniversary.  The interweb is full of commentary and criticism.  All over New York City I have been confronted with signs declaring our promise to “Never Forget” and “Always Remember”.  Ever since attacks, these slogans have been tossed around ad nauseum, but what are we pledging to remember?

Here is what I will always remember.

Ten years ago, two hijacked commercial airliners were crashed into the two towers of the World Trade Center.  Another plane attack the Pentagon in a similar fashion.  In New York alone, nearly 3,000 civilians and first responders were killed.

The individuals responsible for these attacks were generally labeled with the vague moniker of “terrorists”.  At times they were and have been referred to as “radical Muslims” or “Islamic extremists”, but these terms are generally used to provide a distinction between the “terrorists” and what we are told are the vast majority of Muslims who practice a “religion of peace.”

Across the Middle East, heads of state sent official condolences while large crowds of those decent, peaceful Muslims danced with joy in the streets, celebrating the deaths of our people.  Osama became the most popular name for newborns in countries dominated by the religion of peace.  Specifically, I recall the predominantly Muslim Arabs living in Israel, who have been improperly labeled “Palestinians”, partying in the streets for news cameras.  As angry as it made me, I remember thinking that at least they would be too busy burning American flags and hurling abuse to butcher any Israeli market goers.  One should always look for the silver lining.

President George W. Bush reacted appropriately to the attacks with cool, collected rage.  He quickly went to New York City, reassured a wounded, terrified population and promised retribution against our enemies.  President Bush immediately put the nation on high alert, funneled billions of emergency dollars to New York and other cities (but mostly New York) and invaded the heart of enemy territory.

Unfortunately, the war started shortly before a major election cycle.  New Yorkers remembered that they were hard-core leftists, union members, ignorant pop culture liberals and recipients of the vast amounts of government hand outs given to those who fail at life.  The same people who were comforted by President Bush in their darkest hour began to shamefully revile him in crude and vulgar terms.  The man who made New York City’s security and rebuilding the priority of the entire country was now being assassinated on stage in city theaters and ridiculed with juvenile viciousness on t-shirts, bumper stickers and billboards.  This animus continues to this day, even as New Yorkers continue to live safe and secure thanks to President Bush.

That is what I will never forget.

This is how others “remember”.

Commercials are running on television asking what you and I will do to “remember”.  The sensitive, politically correct answers provided by the stars of the commercial range from planting a tree at the site of the PA crash to helping someone with literacy.

I can get behind the tree planting, even though it is not what I would do.  I am a supporter of literacy, but, seriously, Samuel L. Jackson, what the hell does that have to do with dead Americans, murderous Muslims and the price of tea in China?  Nothing.  Personally, I think the entire campaign is meaningless, stupid and a waste of time.

There is an embarrassing trend toward tacky displays, waxing maudlin and blathering on about angels and heroes.  Once again, it is not how I deal with grief and tragedy, but everyone is different.  The problem for me is the focus of this emotion.

There is much celebration of victim-hood but little discussion of victimizer.  In fact, I have been told many times by people who clearly know more than me, that we are really responsible for the attacks.  You see, we as Americans are the real victimizers and the “terrorists” are just defending themselves against our decadent, Western capitalism and all its evils.  We are merely reaping the rewards of greed and Zionism.

The memorial celebration will be attended by politicians and families of victims.  It will not be attended by clergy or surviving first responders who were actually at the scene on the day.  The Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed by the Muslim hijackers will not be rebuilt, but a huge victory mosque will smile down approvingly on the site of the slaughter.  This mosque is up for a government grant, so we will all have the joy of contributing to our own dhimmitude.

President B. Hussein Obama has also decided recently to celebrate and honor the Muslim “heroes” of 9/11 while celebrating a Ramadan dinner.  For a guy who claims not to be a Muslim, he certainly celebrates Muslims and participates in Islamic ritual with strange regularity (let’s not forget his recent 9/11 talking points.).

No one talks about our heroic soldiers who have brought the fight to the enemy’s home and who continue to fight the sources of terror, except to say they support the troops but do not support the war.  Try telling people in Chelsea you support gays, but don’t support gay marriage.  See how far you get.  But this is New York where it is more important to be doctrinally correct than to have a grasp on reality.

Yesterday as I returned home from the supermarket, I passed by a church.  Amid obligatory bilingual signage and hand made, brightly painted icons of what seemed to be saints, angels and possibly Our Lord Himself dressed as hippies with peace signs on their chests were notices offering a “communal space” of remembrance on September 11th.  This will precede the usual “justice”-based, LGBT-friendly weekly service.  For these folks 9/11 is some sort of rallying cry for multicultural understanding and globalism.  It is no shock that these people voted for Obama since they have reduced Jesus Christ, The- Word-Become-Flesh, to some sort of peacenik, proto-community organizer.

I am reminded of the episode of Rescue Me where Lieutenant Shea goes to a 9/11 PTSD support group and discovers he is the only one in the group that was involved or knew anyone involved in the action that day.

9/11 has become a holiday to support victim-hood, rail against capitalism and promote Islam.  I will not be attending anything on 9/11 except church where I will be praying for patience and more loving attitude toward the idiots around me.


  1. At some point, even the most sophisticated moral equivocation is laid bare and known for what it is. The stronger the inherent, natural emotional reaction against it, the more completely it is eventually exposed. This re-casting of 9/11 into "anything but what it really was" grated from the beginning. The facts are simple and clear. It is not for the intellect but for the soul itself to shout out above the din, "NO! This is NOT RIGHT!" Mine does.

    Well said, Mr. Fitzgerald. Now if you could just lose the "getaway driver" photo.. 🙂

  2. Excellent piece, Mr. Fitzgerald. As a New Yorker since the mid 90s, I remember that most here didn't care about the Middle East, terrorism, or foreign policy much in general, outside of the more academically minded types beforehand. 9/11 woke everyone up here – for a little while. People were buying books like crazy, trying to understand this mysterious religion and the history they'd ignored all those years. You are right, ultimately they settled on victimhood. "It's our fault". I, for one, will avoid all of the ceremonies and that entire part of town until this anniversary is over, not for fear of terrorism, but for all the reasons you mention. Well done.

  3. James – Such a brilliant piece. It was refreshing to read something so frank about 9/11 and the circus it has become. On 9/11/2001 I finally realized we had a formidable enemy. THAT, is what I will never forget.