It's Time to Put 9/11 in Our Back Pocket

Ten years later, will we finally recognize September 11th, 2001 for what it was and move on?

As we all know, Sept. 11, 2001 was a terrible day in human history. For one, 2,976 people died in that singular event, and witnessing the buildings collapse live on national television sparked an enormous amount of fear and anxiety within each and every one of us who had no idea what was going on, nor what would happen next.

But, 10 years later, it's time to put this blip on the map of human history in its proper perspective.

To begin with, on average, around 150,000 people die every single day; some from murders, some from malnutrition and disease, some from old age, some from household accidents, some from wars, etc.  

Since September 11th, 2001, a half billion people have died, and only a miniscule (almost dismissible in relation to the shear number of deaths in the last 10 years) amount of those have been from terrorists.  

Death is very much a part of life and until we can control our irrational fears and impulses related to the inherent horror of our mortality - terrorism will exist, and our responses to vile acts of hatred will be irrationally disproportionate.

Second, a chain reaction of terrible decisions started that day.  For one, 18 of the psychopathic murderers were Saudi Arabian and one was Lebanese.  Yet, like millions of ants on a trail of conquest, we somehow ended up invading Iraq.  

Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden are both dead.  

Feel better yet?

As you know, we cut taxes and went to war. These two expenditures alone have raided our financial futures at a rate of $3.1 trillion dollars up front and who knows how much in collateral financial damage.  Without even considering the collateral trillions lost, that $3.1 trillion is one billion spent (and/or revenue lost) per person killed on September 11.

Our economy has collapsed, the middle-class continues to shrink (all the while, the top 1 percent of our population continues to accumulate an ever-increasing share of the wealth, and face it, if you are reading this, you are likely not in that top 1 percent.) the so-called Tea Party has taken Washington D.C. hostage, and our schools, roads, and bridges are falling apart.

As the 10-year mark approaches for September 11th, I can't help but look introspectively and think about how pathetic of a bunch we have become (or maybe always were).  

If you think we have won (or are winning) this inaptly named "War on Terror" all you have to do is look at the Dow Jones, the unemployment rate, the deficit, your 401k, Jersey Shore and our crumbling infrastructure to see how the vast majority of us aren't winning anything.

September 11, 2001 wasn't only a terrible day because the attacks on the World Trade Center, it was a terrible day because it exposed all that is weak in us as human beings.

If you want evidence of the animal nature of humanity, there is no need to dig in to our DNA and through millions of years of rock and dirt. Simply turn on the nightly news every year for the first two weeks in September (for the rest of our lives) and witness our unabashed shortcomings in all of their glory.

And as you watch, reminiscing on the 3,000 people who died that day (and the needless thousands since) think of the 150,000 people who died just today, or even right now - or the 55 million that died in the previous 12 months - that may have lived just a little bit longer, if only we were, in the aggregate, more rational and intelligent creatures.

Until then, the suffering imposed on the world by the hatred of a few psychopathic religious fanatics, and the resulting disproportionate, shortsighted responses of those affected, will continue.

The annual media blitzkrieg of 9/11 remembrances needs to stop.  

It's time to put September 11th, 2001 in our back pockets, lift our heads up, roll our shoulders back, and move on.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Karl Frank Jr. September 09, 2011 at 10:49 PM
A similar article was written today at Big Think titled, "9/11 + 10. Terror's Toll" - Here is the link http://bigthink.com/ideas/40058
Seth Simons September 12, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Based upon your rational, I guess we should also forget about the Holocaust. After all, in the grand scheme of human existence it was only 6 million Jews that lost their lives. You really should let someone read your opines before you post such tripe.
Karl Frank Jr. September 12, 2011 at 02:01 PM
First, never was the word "forget" used. Perspective was the key. Second, in relation to your simile, 5,997,024 would have had to die for your point to be taken seriously. As a follow-up to the point, you know how when you watch a movie and sometimes you get this really embarrassed feeling for one of the characters? I had that embarrassed sensation more than once yesterday when watching all of the 9/11 tributes. If you don't understand why, re-read the post above. Also, a couple of more articles to share on this point: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/end-911-era/ - 'How to Beat Terrorism: Refuse to be Terrorized' http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2011/09/costs-homeland-security - 'How Much Does That Post-9/11 Security Cost?'
Seth Simons September 12, 2011 at 03:32 PM
I don’t have to re-read anything to understand your entire post was in poor taste and reflects quite a bit about your lacking character and compassion. You indicate that people should “move on” and also to stop the annual “9/11 remembrances”. While you did not use the word “forget”, your intention was very clear. The only person I am embarrassed for is you….. your name and picture are associated with this pompous attempt to promote your political agenda. Parroting inane internet references does not help your cause either. Please, in the future, confine your “grand musings” to teacher raises, retirements and local traffic light requirements, things you can comment intelligently on.
Karl Frank Jr. September 12, 2011 at 04:34 PM
I think Scientific American makes my primary point better. There are consequences attached to all of the emotional baggage of a psychological attack. "For one pair of researchers, however, the algebra is actually quite clear. For the more than $1 trillion the U.S. has spent on domestic security in the past decade to be justified in terms of lives saved, counterterrorism efforts would need to "have successfully deterred, derailed, disrupted, or protected against attacks that would otherwise have resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 people in the country every year, equivalent to experiencing attacks as devastating as those on 9/11 at least once a year or 18 Oklahoma City bombings every year," the researchers wrote in the August issue of Homeland Security Affairs. "Even if all of the terrorist plots exposed since 9/11 in the United States had been successfully carried out, their likely consequences would have been much lower," John Mueller, chair of National Security Studies at Ohio State University, and Mark Stewart, director of the Center for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability at The University of Newcastle in Australia, noted in their analysis. Although much security work is secretive, thus some thwarted attacks might remain undisclosed, based on public information, the "enhanced expenditures have been excessive…[even though] there are emotional and political pressures on the terrorism issue," they concluded." http://goo.gl/z8pTl
Karl Frank Jr. September 12, 2011 at 04:37 PM
"Riskiness is based on perception rather fact," Clinton Jenkin, a researcher at the University of New Hampshire, wrote in a 2006 paper published in Homeland Security Affairs.
Alex Johnson September 12, 2011 at 04:42 PM
So the firefighters, police and families of victims are just carrying around 'emotional baggage?' For all the quotes and links and theories you put out here, you'd think you'd be able to rationalize some thoughts of your own and find some humanity. Try going through something as traumatic as 9/ 11 and then write.
Karl Frank Jr. September 12, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Alex, I believe in honoring firefighters and police the correct and appropriate way and that is through good pay, benefits, and pensions. http://mehlville-oakville.patch.com/blog_posts/pension-envy-strikes-hard-and-heavy-in-south-county Obviously people who lost family members and friends, and anyone who wants to frankly, can and should mourn as they see fit and for as long as they see fit. However, the annual corporate and government sponsored media blitzkrieg is inappropriate and causes a government of the people and by the people to make irrational decisions in relation to security, health, foreign policy, etc. As it relates to sourcing and not sourcing the origination of ideas, thoughts, knowledge, etc., it is good to keep in mind that knowledge is additive and cumulative. I'd be lying to myself (as would you) if I ever believed for a second that my thoughts and ideas were my own. A person with an opinion is simply that. As some smart person once said, opinions are like belly buttons, everybody's got one.
Seth Simons September 12, 2011 at 05:33 PM
An even smarter person said “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Missy September 13, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Mr Frank, I wish you would become a "blip" on the map and keep your outrageous opinons/blogs/replies to yourself. I too am only embarrassed for you. Your time in the political spotlight is over.
Randy Lowry September 13, 2011 at 08:30 PM
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, Karl's timing was in poor taste and most certainly would not have been expressed had he still been involved in politics. That makes him at best disengenuous, and at worst, an insensitive fool.
Karl Frank Jr. September 13, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Randy, in actuality, one of the main reasons I left politics was so that I could be more intellectually honest and less political. While the politicians wheel and deal, the movers and shakers make the most change. By the way, you've had a lot to say about this lately. What was it you said this morning about obsession? Regardless, I read the following yesterday from Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and overall brilliant man: "Ten years have passed since a group of mostly educated and middle-class men decided to obliterate themselves, along with three thousand innocents, to gain entrance to an imaginary Paradise. This problem was always deeper than the threat of terrorism—and our waging an interminable “war on terror” is no answer to it. Yes, we must destroy al Qaeda. But humanity has a larger project—to become sane. If September 11, 2001, should have taught us anything, it is that we must find honest consolation in our capacity for love, creativity, and understanding. This remains possible. It is also necessary. And the alternatives are bleak."
B. Kinzel September 14, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Karl, it must be nice to live in your cold, clinical world, where one can just "get past" tragedies in the human existence with just a snap of your fingers. The only thing I'm unsure of is if you just enjoy trolling for responses (see also your previous writings where the voters of the Mehlville School District "made you want to vomit", in your grand farewell from the school board.) or do you actually believe this stuff. Either way, there isn't an eyeroll big enough. I believe we'll get past this, just as we got past Pearl Harbor and other tragedies.. however, I don't presume to have the authority to tell the tens of thousands of people that were directly connected with what happened that they just need to "suck it up and move on".
Karl Frank Jr. September 14, 2011 at 01:20 PM
Honor the fallen and first responders by stopping the annual multi-million dollar dog and pony shows and honor those who still live with better pay, better benefits, and excellent pensions. You're right, most of the voters did make me want to vomit. (metaphorically speaking) Many will get emotional and cry at the site of the American Flag and a patriotic song but they wont spend 50 cents a day to give the children of our community a better education.
B. Kinzel September 14, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Sure, it's easy if you *have* 50 cents a day to give.
Karl Frank Jr. September 14, 2011 at 01:43 PM
If you don't have 50 cents to give, then it doesn't cost you 50 cents. That's the nature of the progressive tax system. Cut back on a Red Lobster dinner once a year, or delivered pizza, or cable, or high speed internet access, or mobile phones, or unnecessary driving or any number of dozens of other things that may apply. Just don't cut back on a better future for our community's children...and our first responders. Sacrificing isn't just cutting back on bills. Sacrificing is also putting your resources where it matters most.
B. Kinzel September 15, 2011 at 03:11 AM
Amazingly enough Mr. Frank, there are those of us that don't even do Red Lobster even once a year, nor have cable (antenna is better anyway, btw) or a lot of your things in your list to cut back on. Add to this an effectively shrinking paycheck due to the economy, compounded by increasing costs of healthcare, utilities, and other expenses that are unavoidable. Still not seeing the 50 cents you were looking for with C. Sorry!
Karl Frank Jr. September 15, 2011 at 10:24 AM
Well, one thing is for sure, we have veered well off topic. At least we have the no cable/over-the-air broadcast in common. Im sorry to hear of your impoverishment and total lack of discretionary income (Mr./Mrs.) Kinzel. Please let us know if there is anything we can help you with. I can also put you in touch with some friends of mine at the Salvation Army if it gets any worse.
Anthony Pousosa September 17, 2011 at 07:43 PM
The Terrorist attack on 9/11/2001 should never be forgotten! The life of every single American that was lost on that tragic day should be celebrated every day until this country ceases to exist. Was the attack on Pearl Harbor just a blip in time also? We still remember those that were lost on December 7th, 1941. That tragic event that propelled us into WWII will be 70 years ago this December. If we put 9/11 in the back of our minds and "move on" another 9/11 type attack will happen again killing more Americans. The Islamic terrorists want ALL Americans to be killed regardless of what race, creed,ethnicity, religion or political party affiliation. They want to kill us here in the U.S. and abroad. They want to make our kids their slaves and force American women to follow Sharia law If we fail to teach our children to remember 9/11 and remain vigilant, they will fall victim to the terrorists once again. We cannot sugarcoat or play political correctness games when explaining who attacked us on 9/11 to our children. The Jihad against all Americans will not end just because; we pull troops out of the Middle East. The Terrorist Jihad will be fought on all levels for generations. Anyone who believes that things in America and around the world will return to "normal" when the troops come home are truly naive or just plain stupid.
Pam September 11, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Mr.Frank, I am sure I speak for many Americans. We will never put 9/11 in our back pockets but I will make every attempt to forget you.
Gabe Smith September 11, 2013 at 09:21 AM
Mr. Frank, I welcome your opinion, free speech is one of the great things about this great country and I welcome a thoughtful opinion. You say a lot of things that make sense it's just that emotion gets involved and that's where things jump off the rails. While I will always remember 9/11, I wonder about some of the others things that you mention as well and welcome a different perspective.
Karl Frank Jr. September 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Gabe, I agree. I also will remember 9/11. We don't usually forget things we put in our back pocket. I think my friend, and apparently our mutual friend, Karl Wulff summed it up very well this morning: "How can I forget? It was the day that the country I loved ended, and became whatever it is today. It was the day the word "patriot" took on a new, darker meaning. It was the day we lost confidence in what we had claimed to believe, and became afraid." Everyone who was alive that day will remember. I saw the second plane hit live and ran in to wake up my wife to let her know our country was under attack. What I don't like is the media's annual ratings push and corporate, profit-based, reminders of remembrance. If we are going to honor the dead, we should start by not pandering to their legacy.


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