I hate the fact that because we call the attacks of September 11, 2001, “9-11” (rather than coming up with some other name for it), the anniversary can never come around on the calendar without our having to take notice of it. We continue to be held captive by this date, and therefore by the memory of the event, in a way that must please both, on the one hand, the Islamist militants who launched the attack and, on the other hand, political or business interests that benefit from Americans feeling threatened by terrorism or Islam. (Examples: Pamela Geller. Whoever profits from the manufacture of those full-body scanners in airports.)
The anniversary made me wonder whatever became of the Park51 Islamic community center (a.k.a. the “Ground Zero mosque”). Popping online, I was surprised to learn that the center has opened, as of September 22 of last year.
“Amazed” would be an overstatement, but I really am very surprised (albeit pleasantly) that the center opening managed to slip under the radar–especially opening 11 days after the 10th anniversary of 9-11! I would have expected that the same people who were outraged about the center’s geographical proximity to Ground Zero would likewise have been roused by the chronological proximity.