Tales From the Dropbox Episode 39 is about musical diversity – on this day – the 15th anniversary of September 11. As for this episode’s read-a-long, the theme is rather simple: Remembrance. This show is being released on September 11, 2016 – the 15th anniversary of the coordinated terrorist attacks on the United States of America, on Americans. The date, 9/11 is significant, and marks a moment in our history we should never forget. However, two questions concerning 9/11 will certainly arise (if not now but certainly at some point in the near future, from a generation too young to have witnessed let alone understand 9/11’s significance), why do we care and why should we remember?
What follows is my meager attempt to capture the significance of this tragic day – a day that 15 years later I still remember unfolding and still recall the aftermath of that day’s events. Like many memories the edges of those memories are a little blurry. The “significant” details from my viewpoint are still sharp but the details are not. I have not experienced 9/11 fatigue – the feeling that I cannot watch another retelling of the events of that day, the stories of the heroes, the victims, the senselessness of the attacks. The answer to why I am still interested in the “details” of 9/11 lies, I believe, lies in the answer to the two questions posed above: why do we care and why should we remember?
We must care about the events of 9/11 because one of the several significant lessons of this tragic day is that that America, for all of its strength and weaknesses, is a symbol that generates a number of powerful emotions in those who are not Americans. The power of that symbol is so great that there are those who will give up their lives to attack our symbols and our citizens. This is the other side of the coin of patriotism. Just as there are those who will fight and give up their lives for our freedom, there are those who will give up their lives to destroy our freedom, to attack our values, and undermine our way of life. There are those governments and individuals who see only the aspects of our nation that they want to see – both real and imagined i.e. our economic, social, and foreign policies – and then extrapolate those aspects to form their view of America as a nation. One particular view of America held by, apparently, a large group of individuals and foreign nations is that America is the land of infidels that should be destroyed. (See America’s Global Image.) Defending against this particular viewpoint is why we should care about 9/11. We must care about the events of 9/11 because those events have shaped our domestic and foreign policy for the past 15 years and should be a daily reminder to Americans that America must be vigilant and united in defeating those who wish to tear apart the foundations our nation and threaten both our unity and freedom. The cost of that freedom is significant. The cost is measured by the lives of those who lost in the tragedies that have unfolded beginning that day.
We must remember the victims and events of 9/11 because as the years have passed, this date, like many others in recent history, (such as April 15, April 16, April 20, May 23, June 12, June 17, July 20, September 16, October 1, December 2, December 14), is in danger of fading from our memories and the consequences of failing to remember will have a significant consequence in the future. These dates all should be reminders of the cost of our freedom, of the rights guaranteed under the constitution, of the strength of our nation to repel attacks upon our core ideals and values, and the significance of each life lost, of each name – of each mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, child – significant each and every one – because they represent each of us. We should remember the victims of these unspeakable tragedies because they serve as reminders of the seriousness that the concept of “freedom” serves to anchor our nation and represents our progress as a society, as a nation.
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905
We must remember. In order for us to continue to progress as a nation, as a society, we must retain the knowledge of the victims of 9/11, because such remembrance gives us a direction forward – progress – distinguishing us from the barbarians – “in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.” (Id.)
So, on this 9/11 take a moment to care and to remember.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #39:
- Marta Ren and the Groovelvets – “It’s Today” (Stop Look Listen)
- Dreamers – “Little New Moon” (This Album Does Not Exist)
- Toy – “I’m Still Believing” (Clear Shot)
- Lost Animals – “Liverpool” (Fantastic Forrest EP)
- Purses – “Hitchhiker” (Obsess Much)
- Tiger Army – “Train to Eternity” (V *** -)
- Lydia Loveless – “Longer” (Real)
- Bouncing Souls – “Hey Aliens” (Simplicity)
- Glam Skanks – “Teenage Drag Queens” (Glitter City)
- Snowglobe – “Sid” (Snowglobe)
- The Few – “Exterminate” (Sleep Tight, When You Wake Up We’ll Be Gone)
- Rival Tides – “Bleed Me Out” (New Rituals EP)
- Ivan & the Parazol – “Cry” (The All Right Nows)
- Subhumans – “Dead at Birth” (Incorrect Thoughts)
- Jay Som – “Next to Me” (Turn Into)
People get on and they get off, sometimes we become friends but they cannot stay, for in the end our destinations aren’t the same . . . give me just a little bit longer to get over you