Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Time to retire moniker, "Ground Zero"?

NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg says that perhaps it's time to retire the moniker "Ground Zero".  While we're at it maybe we should just forget 9/11 even happened.  Perhaps all the pain and suffering and horror of that day was just a fanciful movie in 3D that we somehow believed happened for real.   Never mind, friends.  There was no 9/11, so there is no need for a "Ground Zero".  Move along.  Nothing happening here...

While we're at it, let's retire other monikers that only serve as reminders of other - unpleasantness.

Let's dispose of the moniker "Ban the Bomb", because it reminds us of the unpleasantness of nuclear Armageddon.  There are no nuclear bombs.  Why in the world would anyone make such dreadful devices, anyway?

Let's also get rid of the moniker "My Body My Choice" because it reminds us of the unpleasantness of abortion.  What woman would deliberately end the life of her unborn baby, anyway?

See how silly his logic is?  Words have power.  Words have strength.  Words can move, motivate, and inspire (in good ways and bad).  The moniker "Ground Zero" was borne out of that horrifying and tragic time.  I say that the phrase is not stuck in the past, but is alive and present to us today.  Consider the words spoken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  No, I don't mean "A date which will live in infamy", but "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." 

He spoke those words way back in 1933 as part of his inaugural address.  That is almost 80 years ago, so should we say that those words are stuck in the past?  No, actually, they are timeless.  They are as true now as they were then. 

While Roosevelt's words are those of hope while "Ground Zero" is a reminder of something tragic, both of them were borne out of trying times.  Roosevelt spoke those words when the country was in the depths of the Depression, so they have that in common. 

Bloomberg states that he wants to retire those words as the first step in moving on and start the process of rebuilding.  But to retire"Ground Zero" is to take the first step in trying to revise what happened on 9/11/01.  I'm not saying that Bloomberg is deliberately trying to reinvent history, but his actions will have that result. 

No, let's not retire "Ground Zero".  Let's remember the pain, agony, and tragedy that occurred on that horrific day.  It's the least we can do for those who lost their lives on that day, and for the families and loved ones that were left behind.  For them, Ground Zero will always be as fresh as that terrible day 10 years ago, so for their sake, let's not put aside the term and pretend it never happened. 

And by all means, rebuild.  But let "Ground Zero" serve as a reminder of WHY we are rebuilding. 

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