Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In Remembrance

This week, most (if not all) major American news outlets will be dedicating a generous amount of airtime to the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Many will argue that this is my generation's Pearl Harbor or Kennedy assassination, that defining moment that tests --and forever changes-- the collective national psyche. It's that rare event where everybody remembers where they were when they first heard the news. I have my story and so do you. It didn't occur to me until recently that I was a junior in high school when the towers fell, my mom was a freshman in high school when JFK was slain, and my grandmother was a senior when the Japanese invaded Hawai'i. We all attended the same high school, so imagine what might happen if my children attend Downers Grove North.

A decade on, the greatest question of all is whether or not America is safer. A recent article in Slate suggests yes, our armed forces have adapted quite well to our new, terrorist-conscious mindset. Even though bin Laden is dead and al Qaida is becoming the Woolworth's of terrorist organizations, it would be highly arrogant to suggest that what happened ten years ago was an isolated incident. We have every right to stay on our toes. From a defense standpoint, Donald Rumsfeld's juggling act has become Robert Gates' semi-miraculous triumph. We may still be struggling in Afghanistan, but we're on better footing than five years ago. (That's not to say I'm not giving our troops a big chunk of the credit, though.)

Regardless, the face of extremism may be dead but the soul lives on. Whether the families and friends of the victims of the attacks have truly found closure, we'll never know. Conspiracy theories about the attacks still crawl around the internet, growing more tasteless and ridiculous with each passing day. No matter how you personally acknowledge this tragic milestone this coming Sunday will be a day of remembering, not forgetting. These horrible, selfish acts were perpetrated by a small cluster of people who vehemently hated anyone whose beliefs were not their own. Our best retaliation is to mourn together. We are more than our differences.

Meanwhile, on a far lighter note...

This year I was hoping write 32 haikus to match my baseball preview from five months ago, but my 40-hour-a-week temp job has whittled my free time down to a minimum. With that said, here are my 2011 NFL predictions in a nutshell:

NFC North: Green Bay (11-5)
NFC East: Philadelphia (12-4)
NFC South: New Orleans (11-5)
NFC West: St. Louis (9-7)

NFC Wild Cards: Atlanta (10-6), Detroit (9-7)

AFC North: Pittsburgh (12-4)
AFC East: New England (11-5)
AFC South: Indianapolis (10-6)
AFC West: San Diego (10-6)

AFC Wild Cards: NY Jets (11-5), Baltimore (10-6)

Most Improved Team: Detroit. A string of solid drafts has given the once-woeful Lions the stealthiest defense (at least, on paper) in the NFC. The ultimate X-factor is whether Matthew Stafford can stay healthy.
Most Likely to Freefall: Seattle. An otherwise solid O-line will come to realize that Tarvaris Jackson just isn't worth protecting. Plus, the pass defense can't cover on the blitz if they tried.
Owner of Next Year's First Overall Draft Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (2-14)

Super Bowl XLVI: Eagles 24, Steelers 17


  1. I hope you realize kids are not cheap.

  2. I'm a long way from having kids; I merely said that theoretically.

  3. Ah. With the way the population keeps growing & they keep building more schools & with district boundaries redrawn, it would make it even more difficult for a 4th generation at DGN. Honestly, the idea that you'd end up having a kid just to witness a horrible national tragedy as a trivial novelty (or the existence of an Allard leads to tragedy) is actually really terrible :P (if that's the joke then I get it)

    As for my original comment, if people think their lives are horrible, having kids isn't going to automatically make it better. If only people knew the costs, the long hours, the effort and constant 24/7 worrying and all the shit that comes along with the territory, I think they would seriously think twice, or at least be a lot safer when it comes to bumping uglies.