September 11th, 2016 is the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. These attacks were the catalyst for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and countless displays of patriotism around the country.But 15 years later, why are we still so consumed with these images of destruction? Why is the flag and other symbols of nationalism intertwined with the calendar date 9/11 ? Is there a purpose for all of this pageantry? Why is this still a thing?
Reason 1: People have suffered.
Many Americans lost their lives, jobs or loved ones in the attacks, therefore there is a psychological need to talk about this trauma. This is why there are still 9/11 memorials to remember the victims. Those who were harmed but survived bear the physical reminders of the attacks to this day.
Reason 2. We went to war out of vengeance.
Immediately afterwards, we went to war with a sovereign nation because they refused to extradite the allege mastermind of the attack. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Afghan lives were lost on top of the few thousand Americans lost on 9/11. We later went to war in Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction and we weren’t going to wait for the next attack on America soil. We became proactive. We were the aggressors and thousands more had to die in the name of American security.
Reason 3. Industry benefitted from war.
America had to buy the bombs from somewhere and defense contractors lined up in droves to fill that need. They also created new services and technology to feed the war machine. Everything from drones to security forces, the companies that offered these services raked it in big time.
Reason 4. War is a good military recruitment tool.
It so good that the military pays for and provide personnel for stadium flyovers and 9/11 memorials in their marketing budgets. It also has the benefit of keeping the military in an exalted position in American society.Our troops and later firefighters and policemen are heroes, remember?
Reason 5. 9/11 patriotism obscures our leaders rationale for perpetual war.
15 years later we are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Pakistan to name a few. As we get further from 9/11 our justification for the war machine became national security and our national interest. Still, 9/11 gives us a warm fuzzy feeling for spending billions of dollars around the globe killing people. Our national security has rarely been tested, and our national interest, which is making record profits for corporations, has rarely been better.