I lived in Manhattan in the last half of the 1990s and left in 2001 before the twin towers fell. So downtown NYC seems early strange for me without seeing the towers. But where I hear the slogans of 911, "Never Forget" I am unable to understand what that even means.
Remembering history should mean that you don't repeat the mistakes of the past. But has the nation learned its mistakes? Did we go into war with false pretenses? Did we overextend our presence in Afghanistan?
What happened after 911 was a cascade of more mistakes compounded one after another. In my opinion, the swift victory against the Taliban via the CIA was one of the few things done right. But it was downhill since then.
The final resolution to 911 was achieved when Osama Bin Laden was killed. But everyone seems to forget that he was discovered inside Pakistan. Did we ever learn that some of our purported friends were in fact the enemy?
Everyone seems to have forgotten that the USA went into war with Iraq, a country that was the enemy of Al Queda. Everyone forgets that all the terrorists and their leader were from Saudi Arabia.
Everyone forgets that by the end of Bush's first term, the Iraq situation was a total mess. Everyone forgets that we had already won a war against Iraq during Bush seniors time. Everyone completely forgets the utter absurdity and senselessness of the 2nd Iraq war.
What I cannot forget is that Bush was elected for a 2nd term. I cannot forget that America's citizens could not swallow the bitter pill that is men in uniform were being maimed and dying for an entirely senseless war. Hence they double-downed on Bush.
Meanwhile in Bush 2nd term, the entire financial system came crumbling down. Many people have PTSD of what happened then. People forget that oil was at an all-time high just prior to the financial collapse.
So they were spending trillions to stabilize the middle east and oil rises to $175 a barrel? What's that all about? Wait, why are they in the middle-east in the first place? Was this an infrastructure program? A jobs program? A jobs program for whom?
So this year after 20 years of war, they finally time box the project. $6.4T and countless lives destroyed. To achieve what exactly? It's like we totally forgot everything! So I honestly don't know if there's any meaning in 'Never Forget'.
It's like I'm the very few who remember. Everyone else got amnesia.
With the pandemic, we also have yet another 'never forget' situation. 20 years from now will we also forget all the ridiculous policies that got to where we are now?

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