I'm not much for anniversaries and such, but this one is difficult to maneuver around.
It means different things to different people, as anniversaries always do. To some it means flag-waving, jingoism, and America-love-it-or-leave-it.
To me, it will always be a reminder of just how cold and cruel our own government became, and how that government was all too-easily fed by the population's fear.
What have we learned in six years? What progress has been made? Are we safer?
I don't know what makes me sadder: that those people in the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon, and on Flight 93 died because of pointless dogma, pointless ideology... or that their deaths have been so ruthlessly abused by those in power in our own country to further their own mad agenda based on pointless dogma and pointless ideology.
Perhaps saddest of all is the cold, certain knowledge that I will get comments on this post saying that I am wrong; that Iraq deserved what it got, despite all the evidence we have amassed showing that our government has consistently and with malice aforethought lied to its citizens, sent its children off to die for that lie, and is now beating the drums to expand that lie into Iran.
Different people, different meanings. But somewhere in there is the truth, and of all the jabbering and slavering I will no doubt see in blogs and on TV today, of one thing I am completely certain: enough people will still want to be blind, to be led, to be safe, that they will gladly trade their freedom for empty words.
But not all words are empty. I urge you to read these:
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
"The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes."
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
Ideas inspire these words, and I hope these words inspire action.