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International Enough Day
September 11

By Afshin Levy
September 12, 2002
The Iranian

Bush, acting upon a joint resolution of Congress, has declared September 11 "Patriot Day". According to his proclamation, we're supposed to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to display the flag at half-staff from your homes and observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT in honor of the Americans who died in the terrorist attack.

You know, personally I think this idea is just inappropriate. I have heard of a better idea, so I'm making it a proclamation of my own, which of course is completely unendorsed by any US politician that I'm aware of -- so far.

I declare September 11 International Enough Day. Enough flag-waving, enough violence, enough nationalism. Enough already! September 11 was not an American tragedy ... it was a human tragedy. It was a tragedy not just for the people in the US who died, but for every innocent person killed as a result of the US reaction to the attacks as well. It was a tragedy for the human spirit, regardless of nationality, religion, and anything else.

On September 11, let's say Enough. No more killing. Let's remember not only the victims of the hijacked airplanes in the US, but of the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Let's remember all the Israelis killed by Palestinian bombers and all the Palestinians killed by Israeli troops.

Let's remember all the innocent people slain by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India in 1984. Let's take the day to contemplate the people who've been victims of genocidal warfare in Africa, and the ones who've starved to death because of political games as well.

Let's remember the victims of the Holocaust and of the firebombing of Dresden, too. Let's not forget those who were slain in the Mai Lai Massacre. Let's also honor the memories of the innocent lives lost at Pearl Harbor and include those who perished at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Instead of waving the flag of one nation and thinking only about our own dead, let's make September 11 a day to remember all the people who've died at the hands of someone else's political agenda through no fault of their own, and let's say enough. We should stand up and disavow this, no matter what country we're in, no matter what religion we are, no matter our political affiliation or status or race or anything else.

If we had a moment of silence marking the time of every atrocity ever committed in the name of nationalism, religion ... every atrocity committed in the name of the artificial borders that try to make us forget that we're all human, all in this together, all fragile creatures whose lives can be snuffed out in an instant through no fault of our own ... then we would never speak again.

So we here in America should, I think, observe September 11 as the day when the nightmares that humans around the world have been living with for decades came lumbering ashore on the East Coast of the US. We should see it for what it is; the day the US truly experienced the horror that rings like a bell around the globe, from South America to the Middle East to Micronesia, the day we joined the human race at a most profound and fundamental level.

There should be no Patriot Day, no day to further emphasize that we're different. Instead, let's say Enough. Enough of putting the interests of any one nation above the interests of the human race. Enough dwelling on our small differences. Enough killing each other over them. Enough hate, enough fear, enough hunger, enough violence, enough bombing, enough, ENOUGH.

We should each find our own way of expressing this. A moment of silence ... or perhaps a day of silence. Meditation, art, whatever it is that you do ... do it. Take the day to celebrate the lives of all of us -- wherever we're from and whatever we believe -- who are still here, and think on those -- wherever they were, whenever they were and whatever they were -- who weren't so lucky.

Take the day to remember the fragility of human life and all the nightmares wrought by those who wanted to impose their will upon the whole of humanity.

Commit no act of violence, however small. Let go of any hatred and prejudice and thirst for revenge and, for one day, see yourself in the other and the other in yourself. Do whatever you do, and do it to say ENOUGH. And let's pray that GOD BLESS ALL HUMANITY ... not just America!

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