9/11: Lesson Learned?

So, yesterday I favorited a tweet – something that I don’t do too often. But this one tweet – that shared a link to an article on The Rumpus – was great. Or rather, the article was great. Thanks to @DanielZiv and @legalnomads for sharing!


Yesterday’s timeline was filled with reflections, reminiscence, and recollection of a world-changing event that happened exactly a decade ago. The 9/11. For me the event bear somewhat a minimum impact because I have no primary, nor secondary, nor tertiary relatives that were affected by the event. I remember that I was in Norway for my exchange year when that happened, and I remember feeling worried because I was a moslem in a non-moslem country. But the worry proves to be vain – I spent my year in Norway as happy as I could be.

So there it was – the 9/11 left almost no impression for me. And I feel awful for not feeling ‘that much’ about an event ‘so big’.

Reading this brilliant article from Stephen Elliott made me realize that it’s not that awful to feel ‘that much’ about the 9/11, because the world is so big and there’s always so much going on. And on that dreadful day a decade ago – when approximately 2,900 Americans were killed, thousands of other people died as well. And it was not the event that matter; it was not how we felt that matter – but what we learned from it. In the article, it seems to me that Elliott wants to ask one big question: we say that the event taught us a lesson, that a lesson has been learned. But what have we learned?

You have to read the whole article yourself, it’s here on this link. But here’s my favorite paragraph:

If one of my relatives had died that day …

But, you see, none of them did. It felt fraudulent to me to appropriate the emotional life of those in mourning, to pretend those atrocities were something personal, to rhapsodize about national unity. What I felt was dread, a sense that my country was going to respond precisely as the terrorists intended: by becoming less human.


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