Typically, nobody makes a big deal about an eleventh anniversary. Last year, I put up a post on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. My great and good friend Ned, whose "9/11 connection" was so much more intimate than mine (I was at work, about twenty miles north of Manhattan, on that morning, but the plume of smoke and debris was visible from my Yonkers home, just north of the city) always puts up a post discussing the attacks from an engineering standpoint and links to a heartrending piece written by a friend of his.
This year, I'm not going to be nice. The American right-wing has been pimping the 9/11 tragedy since day one- after the attacks, Congress (shamefully, in a display of bipartisanship) passed laws injurious to civil liberties, the administration ginned up a war against a nation which hadn't attacked us, and political hacks accused liberals of being soft on terrorism. The American Taliban and conservative hacks blamed the attacks on the liberal mores generally regarded as characteristic of New York. A large portion of the country lost its mind after 9/11... notably, most New Yorkers did not- the typical response in the immediate aftermath of the attacks was to head to the blood bank to donate (sadly, unneeded) blood. While most New Yorkers wanted Bin Laden's head on a pike, there was widespread sentiment against the invasion of Iraq, and the general sentiment regarding the war was "not in our name."
The outgoing mayor of New York, whose visibility on 9/11 was due to his foolishness in locating his Office of Emergency Management in a vicinity previously targeted by terrorists, made his subsequent career running off of his undeserved reputation as a security expert (famously skewered by Joe Biden), and his now-imprisoned right-hand man almost got the nod as the director of the Department of Homeland Security (as an aside, I don't think I'm the only one creeped out by the use of the term "homeland" in a non-ironic sense, I'd never heard it applied to the U.S. before the Bush maladministration).
The post-9/11 milieu was characterized by "security theater"- I call it "securitism". I first clued in to the B.S. nature of it all when I took the 1 train from 238th St in the Bronx, where there was absolutely no security procedure in place, to Times Square Station, which was crawling with heavily-armed police and national guard, where most of the entrances (and, as those familiar with the subway system know, exits) were locked. Yeah, anybody could have gotten into Times Square Station with a bomb, but getting out of the station post-disaster would have been extremely difficult. Much of this security theater is unnecessary, but a passel of well-connected hacks have been making big bucks off the "new normal". As the decade progressed, and the responses became stupider and more brutal, I felt myself more of a New Yorker, but less of an American. My love of the city grew simultaneously with my distrust of the direction the country was headed in.
Even now, eleven years later, the right-wing lunacy about 9/11 persists- some say that the annual 9/11 commemoration is not religious enough (even though the 9/11 attackers were largely motivated by religion) and a not-insignificant minority of Republicans credit Mitt Romney for the death of Bin Laden. Give it up, right wingers, 9/11 happened on your watch, and you failed to get the main plotter behind the attacks. You blew it, the entire failure of our national security apparatus is your fault. To compound your failure, you blocked the act which would have provided health care for the first responders you love to be photographed with. Don't try to use 9/11 as a political cudgel against liberals, you lost any credibility long ago.
Postscript: Oh, and people in the Heartland, enough of the 9/11 kitsch. Sure, we know you mean well, but knock it off. The real tragedy if 9/11 is ongoing- it manifests itself in empty seats at tables, cancer-stricken cops, firefighters, construction workers, EMT's, orphaned children, widowed spouses, familiar voices silenced. Please, come and visit, but be sober and reflective.