• Snapshot of 9/11

    by Jesse Loren

    America, O beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain, September 11th came this year and the flags made in China were on sale everywhere.

    The Reverend Yosemite Sam backed off his “Burn the Koran for Jesus” campaign. Perhaps he’ll get off the news and back on his medication.

    David Petraeus fanned the news-fires by making statements about the harm of Koran burning to US soldiers. The smarmy news coverage only made the news reach farther into the most remote locations of the desert…

    Meanwhile, our homegrown extremists equate the building of a Muslim Community Center in downtown Manhattan with a victory mosque. A little late, but freakonomically, somewhere in their little starry heads, they believe in their homegrown connection. Besides, it’s election season and the Far Right has to inflame the voters in order to get them to the ballot box. There’s nothing like fear and loathing to motivate people to vote.

    It’s reprehensible that these folks seem to think the Muslims of New York didn’t experience loss in the Twin Towers, or ever serve in our military, or die as firemen, mothers, daughters, or sons on 9/11. God forbid they would have the same rights as Americans to worship…

    In the meantime, Rosh Hashanah is in full tilt as the kick off of the Jewish high holy days, or Days of Awe. It is time of atonement, renewal, forgiveness and, eventually, celebration. Again, this ancient, lunar-calendar based holiday is about renewal, no need to get the star striped panties in a bunch over the timing.

    Eid, or Eid al Fitr, the celebration of the end of Ramadan, which is a celebration older than Islam itself, based on the lunar calendar, coincided with 9/11 this year. Even that coincidence upset some Bible types who are wrapped in the flag, rattling the cross. Oh my, how dare they celebrate on our special day?

    Personally, my dad died on Christmas day, but nobody puts off Christmas on my behalf. Actually, I find it comforting to celebrate with friends and not be alone. I mark the evening with a solitary time of reflection, before winding back into the celebration.

    9/11 is also my sister’s birthday. She lives far away, so I am not there with her this year. I hope she gets some cake. Today, I am doing something she likes to do. I am gardening. I am excited about planting a 9/11 garden.

    My friend suggested I plant “Rosemary for remembrance, Jasmine for grace, Pansy for thoughts…” I think everyone should load up on extra plantings of Jasmine and Pansy, at least until the November elections have passed. We are going to need all the grace and thoughtfulness we can get, Godspeed.

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