In the aftermath of 9/11, the United States witnessed acts of profound selflessness, touching solidarity, and welcome civic-mindedness. But the ensuing years also saw examples of political gamesmanship, crass commercialism, and oblivious self-promotion. And it was only two weeks after 9/11 that President George W. Bush exhorted Americans to "get down to Disney World in Florida." Reactions to trauma will always be a mixed bag, and so it remains 10 years later. And on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we've pulled together some of the more forehead-slap-inducing remembrances.
In the months and years following 9/11, the event became an occasion for political opportunism. For example, what better way to gin up support for New York's special election, which happens to fall on Sept. 13 of this year, than by reminding voters of that little mosque brouhaha the city was dragged through in 2010? Republican congressional candidate Bob Turner went so far as to include images of the Twin Towers burning in this ad:
And what would the day be without a counter-demonstration to balance out those cranks arguing that 9/11 should be commemorated as a day of "charity" and "service"? Blogger and activist Pamela Geller, author of the book Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance, is planning a "Freedom Rally" in lower Manhattan on Sunday to counteract attempts by President Obama to "whitewash" the anniversary by focusing on anything other than what Geller perceives as a clash of civilizations. "We must show the jihadists we are unbowed in the defense of freedom," she told Worldnetdaily.com.