Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I have two hands, the LEFT and the RIGHT...

Last week, a 9/11 memorial at the University of Tennessee was defaced. 3,000 memorial flags that had been placed inside the amphitheater in honor of those who died in the 9/11 attacks were removed and replanted in the Humanities Plaza, where they were then used to spell out "THE WORLD SUFFERS". They also wrote with chalk various antiwar and anti-Bush slogans along the pavement and walls.

Nathan Fortner, a student at the University, was one of those who helped put the flags back in the ampitheater and washed away the slogans. He writes that "you just don't go deface a memorial to the innocent dead and then use it to forward your twisted political agenda, as it goes against all forms of common decency."

For the point in remembering those who died in the 9/11 attacks, I agree. It is tasteless, it is crude, and it is disrespectful especially to those who died trying to save lives at the World Trade Center. It wasn't meant to be offensive, nor was it meant to be a political statement. But in the highly-volatile world that seems to be America, nothing is ever spared.

But going beyond the American paradigm means taking a good hard look at the world. One UT student reacted to Nathan Fortner's post by saying,

the 3000+ victims of the 9/11 attacks were no more innocent than the 10,000+ iraqis who have been (sic) killed since U.S. invasion. This vandalism was no more disrespectful of the 9/11 victims than the exploitation that was the RNC. If I die as a results of a terrorist attack, I truly hope my death is not used to justify the murder of 10's of thousands of innocent humans.

There's a good point right there. America's ethnocentrism rang true in this statement. Of course, Fortner replied by saying that

This was a solemn memorial to those killed in 9/11. It has nothing to do with Iraq. If you can't see the tastelessness of taking down this memorial and turning it into an anti-war protest, then you need to lay off whatever you are smoking and get back into the real world.

The UT student had the last word, though.

i am glad to see *someone* admit that iraq has nothing to do with 9/11.

*Go here if you want to read the rest of their comments.