Let us remember the tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan who have died as a result of U.S. military action in those countries.
Let us remember the billions of dollars and incalculable resources in time and energy the U.S. has squandered on a futile war on terror.
Let us remember the loss of American lives in this war as well as those Americans who have been maimed and suffered traumatic psychological damage, in some cases leading to suicide.
Let us remember the increase in hatred towards the U.S. spawned throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds as a result of this war.
Let us remember this from Pakistani journalist and author Ahmed Rashid: Perhaps the greatest promise made after Sept. 11 by President George W. Bush and the British prime minister, Tony Blair, was that the West would no longer tolerate failed and failing states or extremism. Today there are more failed states than ever; Al Qaeda’s message has spread to Europe, Africa and the American mainland; and every religion and culture is producing its own extremists, whether in sympathy with Islamism or in reaction to it (witness the recent massacre in Norway).
Let us remember that the ultimate act of patriotism need not be serving in the military. Patriotic also are those who heal, cure, teach, aid, support and enrich the lives of their fellow citizens, particularly those who live in unfortunate circumstances.
Let us remember that wrapping oneself in the flag is not patriotism but showmanship that does not serve what that flag symbolizes.
Let us remember that the United States is not now nor has it ever been "the greatest country in the world" but just one nation among many.
Let us remember the violations of basic American rights that have been enacted as law in the United States in the wake of the terror attacks, not to mention the countless inconveniences.
Let us remember that one of the basic precepts of the United States is religious freedom and that this is no more a Christian nation than it is a Jewish or Muslim one.
Let us remember that September 21 has been declared an international day of peace.
I close now with this from writer, interviewer, comedian, wit and blogger Dick Cavett:
Have you, perchance, decided — as I have — not to spend the weekend re-wallowing in 9/11 with the media? Aside from allowing Saint Rudolph, former tenant of Gracie Mansion, to trumpet once again his self-inflated heroism on that nightmare day, the worst feature of this relentlessly repeated carnival of bitter sights and memories is that it glamorizes the terrorists.
How they must enjoy tuning into our festival of their spectacular accomplishments, cheering when the second plane hits and high-fiving when the falling towers are given full-color international showcasing for the 10th time.
Who wants this? Surveys show people want to forget it, or at least not have it thrust down their throats from all over the dial annually. It can’t have to do with that nauseating buzz-word “closure.” There is no closure to great tragedies. Ask the woman on a call-in show who said how she resents all this ballyhooing every year of the worst day of her life: “My mother died there that day. I’m forced to go through her funeral again every year.”
Is all this stuff a ratings bonanza? Who in the media could be that heartless?