September 11th Should not be Hijacked as a Day of Service
2001 was an unimaginable, horrific day. Islamic terrorists
hijacked commercial airplanes with the intent to use the planes as weapons by
crashing them into buildings. Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center,
causing both towers to collapse and thousands to die. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon,
killing many and destroying a sizable portion of the building. The final plane
was destined for the White House. It never reached its destination after
American heroes on the plane overcame the terrorists and foiled their
intentions, although unfortunately crashing into Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives due to the terrorists’ actions.
If you would
have asked me what the worst thing that could have happened after September
11th was, aside from not doing anything in retaliation, I would have said that
we forgot about it. President Obama signing legislation authorizing September
11th to be a “National Day of Service and Remembrance” attempts to do just
It seems so
simple and logical that September 11th should be a somber day of remembrance.
It should be filled with candlelight vigils, thoughtful remembrances and, above
all, a commitment to stay vigilant against terrorism. At first blush, turning
it into a Day of Service seems ridiculously tacky—brought to us by the same
administration that gave the Queen of England an iPod. But when one remembers
what September 11th was, and what the focus of that day should be—remembering
the victims and reminding us of the enemy we still face to this day—trying to
hijack the day for any other ends is an uproariously evil act and is meant in every way to uproot
The issue of
volunteering has long been debated. One debate revolves around if children
should be required (forced) to do volunteer work before graduating high school.
A "National Day of Service" raises a question if the government
should be in the business of encouraging its citizens' labor to be committed
towards one end or another. The heart of the issue is if men are free and able
to use their labor towards ends that they see beneficial to them or if their
labor is to be used to serve the interests of other people. It is a debate of enlightened
self-interest versus altruism; capitalism versus socialism. Our country,
founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, was
found on the former. The government has no business telling its citizens that a
particular day is going to be a Day of Service.
According to the
official website for the “Day of Service”, http://911dayofservice.org/,
the video tells us that they are just asking us to do one good deed on
message seems to be that a million good deeds can make up, somehow, for the bad
in the world, such as terrorism. People call this "karma." This is one
of the uproarious evils of this Day of Service: terrorism is not going to be
stopped by a million good deeds. The terrorists who planned the attacks were
hunted down and brought to appropriate justice by courageous soldiers in the
United States and ally militaries. These soldiers are one of the groups that
the Day of Service is attempting to make us forget.
The Day of
Service is meant to play on guilt. Why are Americans, the victims, asked to do
a good deed, and not those from the Muslim world? The administration is
directly saying to us: “yes, Americans you are too affluent and happy,
start serving!” This is dangerously close to those who, immediately after
September 11th, were pointing their fingers at fellow Americans, asking, “What
did we do to deserve this?” Americans should not, in any way, be made to
feel guilty on September 11th. Let me make this clear to Obama and all others:
Americans are not guilty and should not be the ones pressured into doing
The Day of
Service is blatantly trying to exploit unity on September 11th. After
September 11, 2001, the entire country was united. While Americans come
together to reflect and show support for one another this year, we have
President Obama and others pushing their socialist agenda on us. They want us
to take our feelings of mourning and unity and route those feelings into their
One may argue that the Day of Service is meant to make the nation heal and move past the pain of 9/11.
That is fine if a person heals this way. But not everyone heals in this same way. How to react, heal, or feel after 9/11 is not something the government should be imposing on
the American people.
To be sure,
community service is a good, benevolent thing. Americans are known the world
over for their overwhelming generosity. Such generosity is made possible by our
success. Service is only possible by people who are healthy, strong, and
financially stable. From this success, they are able to help others in
unfortunate situations, such as a child stricken with cancer or a soldier
injured in war. Their choice of charity is driven by their values and their timetable, whether they want to support medical research, give to soldiers, give directly to those in need, or whatever they choose.
But for the
government to come in and declare a national day of service is edging on
compulsory service—and to do it on September 11th is just plain unforgivable.
The government should not tell its citizens what to do or how to act (minus the
obvious of ensuring its citizens are not harming each other). It reveals
exactly how the administration sees the American populace: as a means to an
end; that we are here to serve them and their agenda, not the other way around.
This is a moral
battle with freedom,
prosperity and happiness in one corner and altruism and socialism in the other.
This moral issue was in fact drawn out dramatically on September 11, 2001. The
terrorists selected their targets for practical as well as symbolic reasons.
The victims of the attacks represented everything that is right about America.
The World Trade
Center housed some of the brightest minds in America. Inside of the World Trade
Center were people hard at work, thinking of ways to build things faster,
better, and cheaper. They invested in new businesses, making our economy
stronger. Their desire for profit did not hurt others but rather wholly helped
the economy and America by creating jobs and businesses in a win-win situation.
They can and should be considered the Atlas of the economy—those who hold it
In the Pentagon
were people dedicated to keeping this country safe. They are
representative of the U.S. military, who courageously stand up to our enemies
and allow Americans to wake up every day in peace.
The men and
women on Flight 93 revealed the heart of America: regular Americans rose up as
heroes when the time called for it.
In the economic
and military conditions we face now, it is exactly the type of people who were
victims of the September 11th attacks that we need to honor and
embrace: the producers, the soldiers, and every day, honorable Americans. It is
obvious that Obama knows nothing about these people. While the economy is in a
recession, he is proposing higher burdens on American producers and taxpayers,
especially the very rich, with socialized health care. Meanwhile, he is gutting
our military. Who exactly the victims of September 11th were and all of the
implications of what the Islamic terrorists were attacking that day is another
thing the Day of Service is attempting to make us forget.
2001 was for me, just like most in my generation, a defining political moment.
We were young and watched something we could have never imagined. It will
imprint us and our politics for the rest of our lives, which is what those in
political power right now are afraid of. Yes, I will remember and honor it: as
a day when Islamic terrorists attacked American soil; a day of patriotism; a
day to honor the fallen; a day to thank a soldier; a day to be thankful for my
family; and a day to work and to live … not as a day to turn it into a
platform for socialism.
September 6, 2009