Last week, Americans commemorated the tenth anniversary of the the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. I found most occasions of public memorial rather distasteful. Modern American society pushes us to indulge in pathos. Moreover, as Lawrence Auster has often remarked, the officially sanctioned language regarding the horrible events ten years ago perverts the public understanding. The day was not one of tragedy but of malice and aggression. People did not just die; our enemies intentionally killed them. A decade later, many of us remain clueless and apathetic to the war without and the war within. Instead of waking to the problem, we have gone on a long ride that benefits politicians, war industrialists, and even our enemies. We are the suckers of world history.
One commemorative item that I found suitable was an interactive feature on the New York Times, “The World Trade Center Towers As They Were.” You may listen to a narration about the towers as you manipulate the device to look at a computer model of the World Trade Center complex. There are also interviews about the architecture, engineering, and art of the site. The Frenchman in the interview notes how the towers functioned as a compass for people who emerged from the subway. Such was true for my brothers and me when we visited the city. A glimpse of the towers informed us immediately which way was south. I was not a fan of the glass and steel design, but the complex was noble in its own way. Our nation has ceased to be so ambitious in our buildings. We have ceded civilizational confidence to other nations.