Different Than Before

When I step back from all the furor and contention over tomorrow’s anniversary of 9/11, what strikes me is that it’s the 9th anniversary, not the 10th. I say that because it would stand to reason that the 10th anniversary would prompt some renewed reflection over meaning and the passage of time. And hence the commemorations might be different. But that’s next year, not this year. And yet, the whole thing does seem very different. It’s far more contentious and politicized than I ever remember these commemorations being. And I don’t think my memory is off.

Certainly one aspect of this is the mosque controversy and the larger anti-Muslim push from the right over recent months. Both of which have had the effect (intentional, I think) of making 9/11 more contested ground within the country as opposed to a space of common commemoration since it’s become somehow a proxy for the right’s arguments about American Muslims and indirectly Obama. (Now we even have people on the fringes of Gingrich’s and Palin’s movement threatening to hold Koran-burning festivals.) It’s also true that there have been two failed terrorist attacks on American soil since last September (over Detroit and in New York). And no doubt the two things are related on various levels.

What’s your take?