Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Is North America obsessed with 9/11? The all-news television channels, American and Canadian, seem preoccupied with following up on every minute angle of that day. I turned to CBC Newsworld to see a piece on Gander, Newfoundland, where many flights were diverted when air traffic was grounded. It seems impossible to escape: I turned to Teletoon, but conflict erupted between Caillou and his younger sister Rosie when Caillou built the "tallest tower in the world" out of blocks and Rosie knocked it over.

The murders of 2,749 people on this day five years ago were and remain significant, both in itself and for the way it has changed the world. I am at a loss when searching for the wisdom in omnipresent recreation, at times grasping desperately for relevance and meaning, of those murders. Are we doomed, no doubt in part due to our ability to obsessively and compulsively document that day in so many ways, to egregiously re-live it in its entirety at five and ten-year intervals?

My grandfather died five years ago this April and yesterday was the 67th anniversary of Canada's entry into the Second World War. At least the former was marked quietly, but marked nonetheless; I didn't lay out a timeline of the night and early morning in question for my grandmother. I was aware that yesterday was the anniversary of the start of a war that killed 67,000 Canadians, but it unfortunately passed without any mention from newspapers. Remembering does not mean recreating, and doing so gratuitously at that, guided by greed.

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