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  • C

    Charles van HeckSep 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Ms. Schatz, you have articulated what many of us think about the Administrations memos. I particularly appreciate your emphasis on a “stronger narrative.” Our remembrance doesn’t have to result in more hate or suspicion of Muslims or others.  Yes, we need to be on our guard, but in a manner that allows us to weaken the support for extremism in our communities and strengthen our democratic principles while encouraging service, as the White House’s domestic  memo states. Thank you for your thoughtful editorial.  Very truly yours, Charles van Heck

  • S

    Steven JonesSep 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    This was a really interesting opinion article, but I’m a bit hung up on your line ‘…(one for domestic use and one for those abroad) outlining how government
    officials should commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.’

    It isn’t wrong to argue Americans should commemorate the anniversary as they wish, but this communication seems to be only advising U.S. Government Officials and Embassy staffs, not the general public.

    Government officials  (domestic & abroad), whether we like it or not, are under a microscope of scrutiny that is both wide and deep, and is exceptionally different than how the average U.S. citizen is seen in celebration/speech.

    But they are also not being fully restricted of their rights either as the NYTimes has reported: “Officials interviewed at several federal departments said they would
    consult the White House guidelines, but had been given broad leeway to
    hold commemorative events at their agencies.”

    The separate cable for Embassies is equally important, as these office represent the entire country, and are often in countries that do not always have favorable opinions about the U.S. government.

    It appears they are not trying to promote a national narrative for all of us to follow, but simply Federal guidelines for federal offices here and abroad. This wasn’t sent out to Governors, U.S. Senators/Reps, or to the general public.

    But the document does state one thing for the broader American public on the anniversary (also from the NYTimes): “The domestic guidelines also ask something of Americans that has been
    lacking in Washington: ‘We will also draw on the spirit of unity that
    prevailed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks’.”

    That’s what I remember when I was in 5th grade 10 years ago, and it is something I hope one day will truly return to the national tone regarding out government.

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White House intervenes in 9/11 commemoration