How Long is Too Long? How Soon is Too Soon?

Too Long?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this since September 11. I was watching the news while getting ready for work, and I realized something about the anniversary speeches and events. They bothered me and in fact had been bothering me for a few years now. These long, drawn out, overly-morbid events are not helping. At least, they’re not helping me any. If they give even an iota of comfort to the friends and families of those lost, then maybe they should continue, but I realized I’m so incredibly tired of the speeches by the politicians.

While watching *shudder* Bush speak at the Pentagon, two things occurred to me: The first is that I don’t think I’ve seen him speak at Ground Zero or in Pennsylvania on any anniversary of 9/11. It’s always the Pentagon. I’m sure it’s for security and scheduling purposes, but to me that seems to be saying that the Pentagon losses were more important, or that the President has a very tight schedule, and he can only fit it in if it doesn’t take too much time. And what kind of crap is that?

The second thing is that I think his speech this year was the same speech he gave LAST year. And that’s when I realized it’s been too long. We’re too far from the event now for the “yeah, let’s get ‘em!” rhetoric to be effective. We’ve become too disillusioned as a country with the “war on terror” for us to buy into it, and I think it’s time for the politicians to sit down and be quiet. If these memorials are going to continue, I’d rather hear about PEOPLE, not politics. Tell me how these people lived, what and whom they loved, not what the government is going to do to people on the other side of the world. That’s why I appreciated what McCain and Obama did. They made a JOINT appearance and said not a word, which is how it should be, because anything they said would be construed as campaigning. It showed they respected the event and those lives that were lost enough to set aside whatever differences or ambitions they have. I’m proud of them both.

I know I’m rambling, and maybe it’s because in a few short weeks I’m facing my own personal anniversary of death, but I don’t think continuing to…well…harp (for lack of a better word) on the deaths and the dead is healthy. I think the Jewish religion has it right. Grieve hard for a year, and then pick up the pieces and move forward. And the first year is the hardest, without a doubt. The first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, the first birthday where your loved one doesn’t age…it’s hard. I know this last year has been harder for me than I expected. I guess it’s been so long since I’ve lost anyone truly close to me that I forgot.

Too soon?

I was watching Jon Stewart on The Daily Show a few months ago, and he made some half-hearted joke about 9/11 or Ground Zero or something. It was a very small joke, but, in a rare occurrence on TDS, no one laughed. Including me. Not only did I not laugh, but I remember very distinctly feeling my teeth clench and my temper start to simmer. And in Stewart’s defense, he did look sheepishly at the camera and say “too soon?” And the answer to that is a resounding YES.

Those of you who know me personally, know I usually have a really good sense of humor, and a definite appreciation for the absurd. And I’ve even found humor in situations that were not the least bit funny, but there are certain events in history that will never be funny. And the events of September 11, 2001 are at the top of that list. Too many people died in too many horrific ways for there ever to be any humor in the situation.

What about you? What do you think?

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks


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