11 September 2011

Classic American

We went to the beach at Hoek van Holland. I was cognizant of the fact that 9/11 anniversary activities would be happening all over America. I intentionally did not read the New York Times, look at my Facebook page, nor open my Gmail today as I was sure the war message and national pride would be etched into any remembrance event or publication of the day.

As we were walking the beach, we stumbled upon an American Car Club classic car show. Even though 10 years have passed, and I have moved abroad, it seemed like yesterday when I saw the first American flag waving in the darkened sky; a flood of memories from 9/11 hit me.

Another reminder that avoidance is not a workable strategy.

The American car and the American flag. Symbols of nationalism and pride. Too bad they've become associated with corporate greed, excess, competition, aggression and war. It's no surprise finding these symbols with a nostalgic bent in Holland, a country where capitalism found its early roots.

Living in Holland, I rarely see SUV's, pick-up trucks and American flags. But today, on a day that I was not desiring to reflect on America- I was given a full dose of them. It felt very odd watching these young Dutch boys oggling over the old cars and middle-aged Dutch men dressed in Elvis lives t-shirts. Elvis images, fuzzy dice and 1950's model cars lined the street.

My dad was fond of Chevrolet cars. We had a couple Bel Air models in the early years of our family life in rural Iowa.

Saw this on the back of an Impala as we walked away.  "Bad to the Bone"

When I returned home, I looked up more information about this event. I discovered the American Car Club has regular car shows which invite owners of these classic vehicles to participate. This particular event was titled "Sun Set Boulevard"- highlighting Amerikaanse Old Timers.

The video - 9/11 The Day That Changed the World  (9/11 De Dag Die De Wereld Veranderde)
It is about the moments of the morning of 9/11 in the U.S. and comments related to the nations leaders and their response to what was happening. I am not sure who funded and created the video. I do know that I have a visceral reaction to Former Vice President Dick Cheney when later he publicly stated- "This wasn't just a criminal act of a small handful of individuals, . . .it was an act of war. It deserved to be and needed to be treated as an act of war." (Dit was niet zomaar een misdaad van een handjevol mensen. Het was een oorlogsdaad. Het moest worden aangepakt als een oorlogshandeling.)

Those words, ideas and the succession of actions related to those words are what have drawn the U.S. into unnecessary and seemingly unending wars since.

Deborah Loewer- chief Situation Room- White House reflected upon the day by saying,  "On 9/11, the events that transpired that day, to our nation, were absolutely inconceivable. Those events changed our nation, they changed our American people."

I personally believe the government's leaders at that time could have responded much differently and changed the world for the better. I will forever consider Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeldt to be the provocateurs and agents of war. I reject the actions of those that invoked malicious intent and executed the plans of destruction on the twin towers and the pentagon that awful day. The government's response, however is equally unforgivable. I support those that agree these former leaders should be held accountable and involved in direct investigation.

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