I Have Never Seen the Video of the Planes Crashing Into the Twin Towers

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That’s right.

I haven’t seen the video of the planes crashing into the towers. Nor have I seen the video of desperate people in the towers jumping out their windows. I don’t believe I have seen the video of the towers crashing down either.

On 9/11/01 I was in yeshiva. (See: 9/11 Reflections) I had no access to TV or the Internet. My entire perception of the events was completely formed by what I heard on the radio and what I saw in the newspaper.

But I could have looked it up on youtube or seen it on any of the news channels if I really wanted to. I guess I didn’t. Read…

My Favorite Post 9|11 Photo

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This photo has been sitting on my desktop since 9|11 2010. I had been saving it for today.

I love this photo. To me, it exemplifies the perfect and most appropriate reaction to tragedy. In place of the Twin Towers destroyed by evil, are two beams of light soaring high into the night.

The physical towers are gone. But their light, their non-physical presence lives on. The edifice lives on and the people live on. Perhaps most importantly, what they stood for lives on.

Light also perfectly embodies what those towers stood for. Light shows the way. Light illuminates. Light is good. The American society that the terrorists abhorred was the America of progress, modernity, diversity and goodness. The terror is darkness. It only works when it cannot be detected until it is too late.

The light of the Twin Towers and America lives on.

Personalizing 9|11

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There are seemingly infinite ways to commemorate 9|11.

I plan several posts over the weekend to express my feelings, memories and hope for this important day in American history.

The first of these posts illustrates to me that 9|11 really has two components. The national component and the personal. On a national level we were thrust into mourning and war. It is a war that does not seem likely to end anytime soon. Every day without a terrorist attack is a day that we have won that war. But that war also carries a very significant price tag. Lives, dollars, foreign relations and other corners of life have suffered. In the end, we can only hope the sacrifices are worthwhile.

The more compelling component, that is less widely discussed is the personal component. By personal, I mean the effects of the tragedy on individuals and their subsequent stories of survival, rebuilding and healing.

The nexus of the national and personal stories is found in the media. The media is in a position to nationalize the personal stories. I find the various ways of expressing these stories absolutely fascinating.

I have chosen 4 different media outlets to illustrate this. Read…

Controversial Ads Against Cordoba Center Are Ironic

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The MTA has approved a pretty powerful anti-Cordoba Center ad.

Here is the ad:

I find the ad obscene. It is provocative, misleading and presumptuous all in one.

However, as much as the ICC has a right to exist, this ad has a right to exist as well. The same laws that protect the ICC, protect this obscene ad. (Note: If the ad was so incendiary as to cause violence it would NOT be protected by the constitution, in which case it would lose my meaningless approval as well)

The irony is that the folks behind the ad can hide behind the 1st Amendment but would deny the same rights to the Cordoba Center.

The Mosque at Ground Zero Has A Marketing Problem

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This post has been cross-posted to DovBear: Islamaphobia and Cordoba House

It seems that the Cordoba House in downtown Manhattan has cleared a major hurdle by winning a 9-0 vote of the Landmarks Conservation Commission. (NY Times link)

Conservatives and liberals seem to be at loggerheads on this particular issue. Sarah Palin made headlines with her plea that the center be blocked and fellow right wing pundits have expressed their distaste to the center. They feel it disgraces the deceased by glorifying what they believe to be the religion that caused the tragedy at Ground Zero almost 9 years ago. Liberals, on the other hand, see the center as an olive branch to Islam and think the center glorifies America, not the dangerous form of Islamic Fundamentalism that took down the Twin Towers, 3000 victims and the U.S. economy.

I can’t say whether the center is an affront or not. Read…