Tuesday, September 11, 2007

To the many unremembered 9/11s

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: I originally posted this entry a year ago in my old blog in Friendster. I decided to repost it here in Blogspot with a few changes in content since I still believe that greater tolerance toward diversity is what's needed now more than ever.)

Many websites on September 11 of every year have in time been converted into an eternal paean to common-man heroism and a recognition of the grief shared by people who lost loved ones during the terrorist attack. Scores of feature stories, memorials, post-9/11 anecdotes and the like are read and re-read, the people in the Internet refusing to forget that fateful September morning of six years ago.

One has to admit that the commemoration is befitting, and we, kibitzers, marvel at the strength of a grieving nation to pull together and recover. Indeed, for a nation such as the Philippines whose collective memory is short and whose understanding of history, reticent, the images of a mournful America six years after 9/11 remain moving and powerful.

But one also has to recognize that similar images from other countries have not been brought to the consciousness of the people by mainstream media. Funeral dirges had been sung and plaintive cries had been echoing in many parts of the planet prior to September 11, 2001: Many Africans had been starving and are dying of AIDS. Many Arabs had been living dangerously in war-torn Middle East, caught in the middle of terroristic strife waged by self-proclaimed defenders of freedom. Many Filipinos had been condemned to perpetual poverty, in such a way that thousands are forced to leave family and friends and sacrifice themselves -- both figuratively and literally -- in another country.

It seems very disconcerting to me that many of us woke up to the realities of terrorism only upon the collapse of the World Trade Center and that a number of people automatically equate terrorism to a specific religion, race or creed. But if terrorism is taken to mean any act that devalues human life through forced, external, destructive and usually armed interventions, then terrorism has been the feature of our age for quite some time.

Every time the sick are not assured of proper healthcare, every time children are left to die of malnutrition or beg to be educated, every time citizens have to suffer in the hands of foreign powers while defending their sovereignity, every time women have to prostitute themselves, every time a country imposes its policies under the guise of international benevolence, every time dissent is hastily defined as a destabilization plot, every time that people who desire to lead better lives are scorned in a foreign country, terrorism in its ugliest form rears its head and manifests itself to a world seemingly numbed by ethnocentrism and selfishness.

We wail for orphaned kids of New York, but no one wails for the orphaned children of Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. We honor the fallen rescuers who came to help Americans trapped in the World Trade Center and the military sent to the Middle East, but we lambast Islamic soldiers and Muslim separatists who engage in similar armed combats, this time, against the US-led war in their own country. We find fault in Osama Bin Laden's fatalistic vision of the world, but we hail George Bush's political determinism and Machiavellian logic.

And worse, not one candle has been lit, not one bell has been tolled, not one postcard has been signed, not one Amazing Grace has been sung to remember those who died innocently while waiting for their personal redemption. This is the greatest mockery of 9/11: we remember while we forget. We affirm while we negate. We are taught to love while we are encouraged to hate.

If 9/11 has indeed been converted to the iconic symbol of how man's greed and intolerance toward others destroy lives, I dedicate this blog entry to the memory of the millions of victims of the many unremembered 9/11s.

8 comments:

Juan said...

Hi Marlon, I think I'm the first one to read your comment...I'm sleepy right now and I'm worry about coming back to my reality in Colombia, where we live in a constant life of intolerance, inequality and hopeless for the many victims of our conflict, that as you said, they are again victims of the many unremembered 9/11's. I don't know if I can do so much for my people, but I'm trying to be not so indifferent.

Your friend. Juan

Anonymous said...

Very well written...amen!

huami said...

I've excerpted you entry to my blog. Very well written. Touching.

Raimundo said...

Tienes mucha razón. El gran problema del mundo no es el terrorismo, sino el hambre y la miseria que hay a nuestro alrededor. Mientras los poderosos miren para otro lado, todo seguirá igual de mal o peor.

Marlon said...

Thanks, guys! Huami, I'm flattered. Gracias, Juan y Rai. Creo que hay que trabajar juntos por una vida digna y justa para todos.

Anonymous said...

very well written..you're truly from a thrd world country..plhils. problem is education and health care..never mind the politicos they are here to stay to bleed our people more.

Maria said...

Mahal na Kababayan......

Hi Marlon!
I congratulate you for this amazing blog! you hit the nail right on its head....

Lots of journals have been written since September 11, 2001...the world changed since then.....

Mostly are miguided about ISLAM.....they don't know the real meaning of it and just condemn the Muslims as Terrorists!

my heart bleeded to pain for the victimes of the Wall TRade center

I despised Terrorism and it hurts me more when Iraq was bombed and invaded by USA....I have lived there in baghdad for some time many years ago...and the Iraqis are so wonderful people.....

WE are misguided and affected by the so called anti Muslim propaganda...

Religion has become a Political problem for those powerful people whose main point is to gain..by all evil means..

WAr is not the answer to fight Terrorism....

We have to respect...and give tolerance to every Human...regardless of Races and its Religion..

WE have to care for the Children of Tomorrow..for they are the future and we are the past...

if We really care for them...
then we have to make this world a beautiful place to live in......

I do pray fervently for the victims and family of September 11 CAtastrophy and let's pray for the Children of Iraq, Palestine, Agfanistan and more....

Let's pray for the chidlren of the Philippines

Let's pray for the world

let's Pray for Peace come what may...Amen

Mabuhay!!!!!

Your Kababayan
Maria Corazon

Marlon said...

Salamat, Maria!