|International Enough Day
By Afshin Levy
September 12, 2002
Bush, acting upon a joint resolution of Congress, has declared September 11 "Patriot
Day". According to his proclamation, we're supposed to observe this day with
appropriate ceremonies and activities and to display the flag at half-staff from
your homes and observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT in honor of the Americans
who died in the terrorist attack.
You know, personally I think this idea is just inappropriate. I have heard of a better
idea, so I'm making it a proclamation of my own, which of course is completely unendorsed
by any US politician that I'm aware of -- so far.
I declare September 11 International Enough Day. Enough flag-waving, enough violence,
enough nationalism. Enough already! September 11 was not an American tragedy ...
it was a human tragedy. It was a tragedy not just for the people in the US who died,
but for every innocent person killed as a result of the US reaction to the attacks
as well. It was a tragedy for the human spirit, regardless of nationality, religion,
and anything else.
On September 11, let's say Enough. No more killing. Let's remember not only the victims
of the hijacked airplanes in the US, but of the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania
in 1998. Let's remember all the Israelis killed by Palestinian bombers and all the
Palestinians killed by Israeli troops.
Let's remember all the innocent people slain by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India in
1984. Let's take the day to contemplate the people who've been victims of genocidal
warfare in Africa, and the ones who've starved to death because of political games
Let's remember the victims of the Holocaust and of the firebombing of Dresden, too.
Let's not forget those who were slain in the Mai Lai Massacre. Let's also honor the
memories of the innocent lives lost at Pearl Harbor and include those who perished
at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Instead of waving the flag of one nation and thinking only about our own dead, let's
make September 11 a day to remember all the people who've died at the hands of someone
else's political agenda through no fault of their own, and let's say enough. We should
stand up and disavow this, no matter what country we're in, no matter what religion
we are, no matter our political affiliation or status or race or anything else.
If we had a moment of silence marking the time of every
atrocity ever committed in the name of nationalism, religion ... every atrocity committed
in the name of the artificial borders that try to make us forget that we're all human,
all in this together, all fragile creatures whose lives can be snuffed out in an
instant through no fault of our own ... then we would never speak again.
So we here in America should, I think, observe September 11 as the day when the nightmares
that humans around the world have been living with for decades came lumbering ashore
on the East Coast of the US. We should see it for what it is; the day the US truly
experienced the horror that rings like a bell around the globe, from South America
to the Middle East to Micronesia, the day we joined the human race at a most profound
and fundamental level.
There should be no Patriot Day, no day to further emphasize that we're different.
Instead, let's say Enough. Enough of putting the interests of any one nation above
the interests of the human race. Enough dwelling on our small differences. Enough
killing each other over them. Enough hate, enough fear, enough hunger, enough violence,
enough bombing, enough, ENOUGH.
We should each find our own way of expressing this.
A moment of silence ... or perhaps a day of silence. Meditation, art, whatever it
is that you do ... do it. Take the day to celebrate the lives of all of us -- wherever
we're from and whatever we believe -- who are still here, and think on those -- wherever
they were, whenever they were and whatever they were -- who weren't so lucky.
Take the day to remember the fragility of human life and all the nightmares wrought
by those who wanted to impose their will upon the whole of humanity.
Commit no act of violence, however small. Let go of any hatred and prejudice and
thirst for revenge and, for one day, see yourself in the other and the other in yourself.
Do whatever you do, and do it to say ENOUGH. And let's pray that GOD BLESS ALL HUMANITY
... not just America!