Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 11 Ceremony

On Friday afternoon the garrison is holding a memorial ceremony for the victims of 9-11. I offered to be one of the speakers if they wanted the perspective of someone who was a civilian and more than 18 years old on that day. There are not a lot of people who fit that description here. Anyway, when I volunteered, I was invited to a coordination meeting for the event last Friday. I found out at that event that I am to be the emcee for the ceremony. One of the people who had been in meetings with said, "Sergeant Gussman can do that no problem." And no one else wanted the job.

I got it in that polite, thoughtful Army way: A dozen of us were seated around the table, the sergeant major convened the meeting and said, "Sergeant Gussman will be the emcee for the ceremony." Next item. . .

Now I may or may not actually talk about my reaction to 9-11 and joining the Army years later, because they may shorten the program or my talk may not pass review. I'll post it after the event whether I give the talk or not.

Today at 1800 was the first rehersal. The same sergeant major made major revisions to the program after the practice already started. His staff was upset. I told them they were in training to be civilian event managers. In my civilian world, the boss can make (and has made) major changes the day of the event. Three days ahead won't be a problem. My Army world keeps getting closer to my civilian world, but with boring clothes.

Just before the ceremony I was in our battalion headquarters and a few guys started talking about the reasons they voted for Sarah Palin--which did not include her education or foreign policy experience. One of the guys said he was an independent who didn't like any of them (meaning recent presidents or candidates) especially Bush, because Bush and Cheney were behind the conspiracy that took down the World Trade Center towers.

Just when I forget that 30% of America believes 9-11 was an inside job, someone pops out his view that there was indeed a conspiracy. As I was leaving I asked if he ever wondered how two guys who botched the current war so badly could have pulled off such a flawless, undetected (except by him) conspiracy. He had a mass of evidence which he was winding up to deliver, but luckily I had to go.

There is no shortage of weird in my world.

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

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