I received quite a few e-mails in response to yesterday's (September 11) diary entry. Most of them went kind of like ‘hey pinky i didn't know there were so many other things that happened on other 9-11s', stuff like that. This one interested me the most though:
I mourn on September 11 because as an American I feel we all need to remember those who lost their lives to the terrorists. I'm not going to feel bad for people killed in a battle 700 years ago in England. We are talking about New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania in 2001. Different time, different place - get it? You have no right to tell me, or anybody else, how to mourn. Fuck you very much. J. Stroud
Syracuse, New York
He raises an interesting point (not the fuck you part, the part before that) and I thought that responding would be a good way for me to explain a bit more regarding my reasoning and intentions. Here it is:
Dear J. Stroud,
I think you missed my point. I wasn't telling you how to mourn. Of course everyone may remember some deaths while selectively omitting others. For example, my friend Pat was killed by a truck this past January 31. If I want to light a candle for Pat this coming January 31, without having to light candles for all other bunnies run over by trucks on every January 31 since the beginning of time (and believe me, that would be a lot of candles) of course I'd be totally entitled to do that. But a personal memorial service for a single bunny is not the same as a national day of remembrance wherein an entire nation reflects upon a violent, traumatic, history-changing event. One is personal (me & Pat), the other involves the transformation and re-writing of an entire nation's identity - isn't that a big difference? What I'm saying is that for certain things I tend to be more interested in what nations end up doing, rather than individuals, especially when armies, bombs, and thousands of civilian deaths later become involved.The official response of the U.S. government to the September 11, 2001 attacks was to answer with more violence. So apparently killing is a justifiable response to killing, which of course is not a new idea. That's why I placed September 11 (v. 2001) alongside the other September 11s (versions 1297, 1649, 1683, 1709, 1944, 1973, and 1982) - it was my way of pointing out that throughout history, many human beings have rejected life and peace in favor of death and war. I know there are always more than a few people out there who believe that life and peace are good, but the fact is that horrible things like these still happen. I'm trying to understand how and why.
Remembering September 11, 2001 as yet another example in a long line of human beings' failure to overcome their violent tendencies helps me to keep my eyes fixed on one of my long term goals: I want human beings to be more conscious of the suffering they create through their selfish thoughts and violent actions. You don't have to like it, I'm going to keep on working towards that anyway.