The "news judgment" that's on display here is obvious. Can anyone imagine the Times suggesting to readers that they stop commemorating Pearl Harbor in 1947? Or to stop remembering John F. Kennedy in 1969, or Martin Luther King in 1974? Would anyone at the Times be willing to condemn these anniversaries when they are "crassly corporatized"?
It's very odd that Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. offered apologies to America's youth in a 2006 graduation speech that this country is so backward that it's still debating over the obvious delights of legalized abortions or "gay marriage" or untrammeled immigration, but Sulzberger's staff thinks the country desperately needs a debate over when to stop remembering Sept. 11.
Where the Times really betrays its pro-forgetfulness bias is when the academic experts arrive to say that too much remembrance suggests ... mental illness. "Mental health practitioners see a certain value in the growing fatigue," we're told. Charles Figley, director of Florida State University's Traumatology Institute, claimed: ''It's a good sign when people don't need an anniversary commemoration or demarcation. ... And it's not disrespectful to those who died.''
National Public Radio picked up the New York Times ball and ran with it. On the afternoon chat show "Talk of the Nation," guest host John Donvan interviewed Dr. Figley, and compared 9-11 events under the Bush administration to his time covering the Soviet Union for ABC. He said the Soviets were aggressive about commemorating World War II, but "I had a distinct sense that there was a political purpose to that in the former Soviet Union. It was to galvanize and legitimize the Soviet government's role because they beat back the Nazis. And again, I think this keeps coming back to your point that people will make use of anniversaries for political purposes as well as personal, psychological purposes."
America can certainly have a debate over how ( to commemorate 9-11, as we can see from some of the questionable monuments that bureaucrats have tried to create in remembrance of the lost. But just as liberals would insist it's political to pin your campaign on a "war on terror," it's also obviously political -- and much more callous -- to insist that the war on terror is a yellowed page, and it's time for Americans, citizens and mourners alike, to call off the 9-11 events and pursue more constructive activities, like sticking our heads in the sand.
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