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Anniversary now an insincere publicity circus

Posted by SUBWAYSURF on Sat Sep 11 11:28:15 2010

By Ellis Henican

Iíve begun to dread these 9/11 anniversaries. Do they really
have to come every year? It isnít just the innocence thatwas lost that day. That will never be recaptured. It isnít even the
lives that were lost. We have far better ways of honoring those.

But nine years after the planeshit the towers, these anniversary
commemorations have been robbed of all their authenticity. And just wait till next year!

Schmaltzy TV specials. Cheap emotional pageantry. Political
pandering of the crassest sort. This is no way to remember something so tragic. This year, the 9/11 conversation has been dominated by
two nasty little stories, classic lowest-common-denominator affairs.

The uproar over a mosquetwo blocks from Ground Zero. nd the hype surrounding a Fla. pastorís threato burn Qurans making an angry standagaist religions diversity. ]Thrusting some fringe clergymanís
press release to the top of the news. This is what the season
has sunk to?

The debate over the proposed Cordoba Initiativeís Park51 Islamic
cultural center on Park Place was New Yorkís contribution to the anniversary thickheadedness, although it really wasnít
fueled by New Yorkersí ire. Most people here understand
that all faiths are welcome in the city and live side by side. We also know that the commercial blocks
of lower Manhattan are many things, but sacred ground isnít one of
them. The New York Dolls strip club is closer to the former
World Trade Center than this mosque will be. It was out-of-towners and suburban politicians who found an audience for these attacks. .

But leave it to Terry Jones to sink even lower than chasing
houses of worship away. The Florida pastor, whose church has
maybe 50 members, had vowed to commemorate the terror attacks
with a bonfire of Qurans.
That lit up the phones on talk
radio and roared right to cable
TV. Gen. David Petraeus said we
were handing our enemies a propaganda
victory. Even the president
was drawn in. (Jones said
Thursday he wouldnít rule out the
Quran burning after claiming the
imam lied to him about moving
the mosque.)
Next year, letís note 9/11 quietly,
each in our own personal
way. Letís ignore the pandering
politicians and the publicityseeking
men of God.
Something important happened
on Sept. 11, something
more important than all this
E-mail ellis@henican.com.
Follow him at twitter.com/henican.

copy right newsday


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