Today is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Like everyone else, I remember exactly what I was doing that morning: admiring the perfect blue sky in St. Louis on my deck when I should have been studying Christology.
My friend, Fr. Philip Powell, O.P., wrote a great reflection for today at Domine, da mini hand aqua!.
I find it strange that today is not a national holiday - like Veteran's Day. I realize today has been named Patriot's Day, but what does that mean? I think we should take a cue from our friends over the pond who remember their fallen on Remembrance Day.
I vote for 9/11 to be called Remembrance Day. It should be a day off from work and school. I'm a big fan of capitalism and free markets, but all the stores should be closed and there should be a law against crazy sale prices in honor of the day. There is no honor in getting a great deal at the local big box store remembering my fallen countrymen and women who went to work and got on planes.
Today should be a day of prayer and patriotism. I'm cool with there being parades but politicians aren't allowed to glad hand. They can have a float or signs that say something like, "I'm a proud American" or "God Bless America". There is no honor in politicizing when the purpose is to remember.
The emphasis should be on prayer and if anyone gets snooty about prayer on this day, then ask them what they did on 9/11. On 9/11, the midday Mass at my parish had standing room only when normally there were about 10 people. Many of those present on 9/11 weren't even Catholic, they simply wanted to be with others to pray, to mourn. The spirit of community and support in that small church - and throughout the country - was greater than the hatred perpetuated against us. Our country needs an anemesis ('remembering' like in the Mass).
We need to remember because forgetting is dangerous.