Monday, September 11, 2006

Sept. 11 blog

Nothing you haven't read before, so I'll refrain from the typical "where I was when I heard that the second tower collapsed" postings and the general commentary about how we should never forget. How can we? NPR's "On the Media" said it best when the announcer said this wasn't the "Fifth Year Since September 11" as much as the "Fifth Year of September 11."

Frank Rich's column in Sunday's New York Times made a great point when he spoke of sacrifice to face the problems of the Depression and the looming second World War. The first bit of sacrifice Americans were urged to do following Sept. 11 was to go to a store and buy stuff. Not even a local store. Somehow, that just doesn't have the same impact as gas rationing.

Yes, I'm one of those folks who thinks that in a perfect world, people wouldn't need to sacrifice for Sept. 11 - they would do it on their own accord, be it by volunteering, donating blood or looking for more fuel-efficient ways to run their lives. But people are selfish in nature and sometimes need to be prodded into doing that type of sacrifice.

Take me - since September 11, I thought the best way I could mark the anniversary was to donate blood and not by putting an American flag sticker on my car (in the words of Bill Maher - "put a flag on your car, it's literally the LEAST you can do.). In my definition, it was a perfect way to commemorate that tragic day. I remember the outpouring of blood donors at blood banks - and even though, sadly, few donations were needed for that event, the reserves were boosted for a bit. Now, they are back to critical levels. But, in a symbolic way, it was a fitting way to mark the event by actually giving something back to the community, actually losing blood as so many people lost their lives and the anniversary would actually get my butt to the blood bank. Still, I think I've done this twice since 2001.

I know there are scores of people who cannot donate blood. This is by no means a "look at how superior I am" post. It's also unfair that gays and lesbians are routinely discouraged to donate blood, even though their straight counterparts may have engaged in far riskier behavior. Still, it's probably the best answer I can give to someone who says "What the hell do you do to mark a day like this?"

I have to admit though, the only reason this is coming up now is that the Red Cross called me and said they were down to less than a day's reserve for the blood type I have. Otherwise, I would have totally slacked off this year.

Separate 9/11 note - the ABC movie 'Path to 9/11' - everyone who reads this blog probably already knows I'm not too kind on the current administration. Still, if I was on the bandwagon for making sure theaters wern't intimidated by showing Fahrenheit 9/11, I think the network should be free to show this. There's plenty of blame to be spread across both administrations for this tragedy.


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