10 Years of Being Held Hostage. It’s Time to Break Free

As we all know, tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I moved away from the New York area a few months before that day. It still felt like home. My commute to the city often took me to the World Trade Center. No one I knew well was lost in the attack, thankfully, but I often wonder about the faces I would see on a semi-regular basis…those who have names I never bothered to learn…those whose glances I casually averted by staring at the ads in the subway car…those who served my coffee…those with whom I exchanged casual chit chat, a smile, even a flirt.

When 9/11 happened, I was in the middle of the country, but I felt it. I cried for days. I searched desperately for a reason. How was it possible that someone could do such a thing?

In the 10 years since, my life has returned to a sense of normal. I cook. I eat. I clean. I shop. I write. I have fun. I have even found love. My hope for the living victims of 9/11 is that they have done the same.

My sense is, that if it was up to the mainstream media and many of the politicians, my life would not have returned to a sense of normal. Between endless loops of the burning towers, terror alerts, two wars allegedly prompted by that day, and Rudy Giuliani’s “noun, verb and 9/11,” normal is barely an option. Forgetting is out of the question.

On Thursday, the House passed a¬†resolution¬†which vows to “Never forget 9/11.” The resolution was introduced by Eric Cantor. There are some nice words in there. They ask us to remember the victims. They ask us to remember the heroes. They also ask us to remember the war on terror and keep supporting the war on terror.

When I read about the resolution, I was outraged. For 10 years, politicians, especially Republican politicians, have held this country hostage. They have told us to live in fear of Muslims and even suitcases and cows. They have told us that a bogey man is around every corner. They try to make us fear leaving our homes.

They use 9/11 to acquire and to hold power. Who would dare vote against the people that are keeping us safe (conveniently forgetting that the attack happened on their watch)?

They use 9/11 to propagate their neocon agenda. Endless wars in the name of “democracy building” are the new norm.

They use 9/11 to distract us. While we’re worried about the brown person next door, they steal our livelihoods.

They use 9/11 to pander to us. As long as they play lip service to caring about 9/11 families and 9/11 heroes, they don’t really need to help people.

In the meantime, first responders are getting sick from the toxins. Their medical bills are going unpaid. Some have died since, and their bodies are not counted with the first 3000. Their families, the same families Eric Cantor claims to honor, are being saddled with medical bills from their lost loved ones.

Just one day after passing Cantor’s resolution, he proposed massive cuts to first responders. Not only is he cold, callous and disingenuous, he suffers from tragically bad timing.

I took some heat for calling Cantor’s ‘never forget’ resolution insulting and phony. How dare I not honor the memories of the fallen? I’ll never begrudge anyone their vigil. I’ll never begrudge them their memorial. However, I have reached my boiling point when it comes to fear mongering, manipulation and empty lip service. If Eric Cantor really wants to help the victims of 9/11, help the families pay the bills. Help returning soldiers find jobs. Help put all Americans back to work.

In our own way, each American is a victim of that day’s tragedy. All Americans have been held hostage for 10 years. All Americans remember in their own way. Anyone who truly believes that Cantor is helping the American people or the more direct victims of 9/11 is suffering from Stockholm syndrome.