Then-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giulani once said, “The attacks of Sept. 11 were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.”
This quote is the epitome of the entire argument as to whether fireworks should be included in the Sept. 11 celebration in Lebanon. No terrorist group bombing should stand in the way of how we celebrate what has become known as Patriot Day in America.
“I have received overwhelming support for this date,” said Councilor Rob Cesternino. “I think Sept. 11 is the perfect day to commemorate what has happened in this country. For me, as a former soldier in the United States Army, Sept. 11 is the perfect day to celebrate.”
Our nation has come so far since that autumn morning when terrorist hijacked planes and crashed them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania. Our military forces rose up, and continue to rise, to capture some of the most notorious terrorists in the world – all in the name of freedom.
And as the greatest society in the free world, there should be no reason why we shouldn’t exercise those freedoms to transform Sept. 11 into a celebration.
Over the past 12 years, Sept. 11 has stood as a solemn reflection on those events, that day and following, as we mourn the deaths of those who gave their lives in the name of freedom.
This year can and should be different. Let’s all join together in a unified front to celebrate freedom, as well as those brave souls who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Let’s show our oppressors nothing can stand in our way with fireworks symbolic of “bombs bursting in air.”
There are a number of nationally recognized holidays set aside to pay homage to those who have fought to keep this country free.
There’s Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Armistice Day, Armed Forces Day and others. In that same vein, Sept. 11, otherwise known as Patriot Day, is our nation’s newest holiday.
If we are to pay the same respect to Sept. 11 as we do these other days of mourning and reflection, it should be treated accordingly and without fireworks.
There are no fireworks on Veterans Day. There are no fireworks to celebrate the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the arrival of troops on the beaches of Normandy.
But Lebanon’s leaders want to shoot off fireworks on Sept. 11 just because the money is budgeted and, of course, the Wilson County Fairgrounds are available.
“I’ve gotten some horrific emails about the date, so I’d like to see about changing it,” Councilor Fred Burton said. “People don’t want to be celebrating on Sept. 11.”
Councilor Kathy Warmath added, “I think there’s a lot of unrest in our country right now,” Warmath said. “I certainly don’t want to salute the unrest, I want to honor the heroes.”
Warmath said she’d like to see the money saved and spent on a firework show for the Fourth of July.
“I don’t know why the money is burning a hole in our pockets.”
Sept. 11 is a time when we should respectfully and honorably give our soldiers and others who lost their lives that day and the days following a day of remembrance. It should be done without fireworks.
Quite frankly, Sept. 11 is a day that shouldn’t be celebrated; it’s a day that should be honored. It is this nation’s second day of infamy.
Let’s all join together this year as we have on the past anniversaries of those horrific terrorist acts and send prayers up, not fireworks.
After all, that’s what the Fourth of July is for, not Sept. 11.
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