Tuesday, August 25, 2009

News Talk Online August 26, 2009: National Day Of Service Is NOT An Attempt By Obama To Demean 9/11

Today I received several messages on Paltalk from regular members of my News Talk Online audience with the alarming news that the declaration of September11 as a National Day of Service was President Obama's attempt to demean the tragic events of that day.

The messages alternatively referred to a Fox News Channel blog posting making the assertion or to a piece in the American Spectator by Matthew Vadum which charges that the president is trying to politicize September 11.

I answered them that the fact of the matter is 9/11 family members have been calling for a National Day of Service on September 11 to honor the memories of their relatives who died in the terrorist attacks and are quite happy that the day has been established by the president. What follows in its entirety is an essay by the co-leader of that movement in response to the Vadum article:

By David Paine

Matthew Vadum's article in American Spectator ("Obama's Plan to Desecrate 9/11", August 24, 2009), sadly attempts to do the very thing it criticizes -- politicize 9/11.

I am the president of the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance Initiative, which my good friend Jay Winuk and I co-founded together following the terrorist attacks.

On 9/11 Jay lost his brave brother Glenn, an attorney and volunteer EMT in the collapse of the south World Trade Center tower. Shortly thereafter Jay and I, along with the leaders of all 22 of the 9/11 family member and support groups came together to create this observance as a forward-looking way for all of us and the nation to forever remember the lives of those lost and injured, as well as pay tribute to the many who rose in service following the attacks and continue to do so today in our Armed Forces. We have worked closely for more than seven years on a bi-partisan basis with Republicans and Democrats alike, conservatives and liberals. And this year thankfully, we finally achieved our mutual goal when Congress, in a broad bi-partisan vote, passed legislation that provided federal recognition for the first time of September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance – a very proper and official affirmation of something that hundreds of thousands of people from all 50 states and 170 countries have observed informally since 2002.

We just wanted to set the record straight that this is not, in any way, a government initiative created by President Obama or any government official. We want to make it clear to all concerned that this is entirely a privately-funded, nonprofit observance, supported on a near unanimous basis by the left, middle and right.

Mr. Vadum improperly and unfairly drags the 9/11 families into a much broader political disagreement that exists between those with differing views of how this country should be run. The 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is a wonderful, patriotic, and constructive observance created by the 9/11 community. It basically tells Osama bin Laden that we will not accept the legacy that he hopes to pass onto to children for generations to come -- solely the visions of evil that he created. This is our chance to take back the day, and see to it that something positive arises from the ashes of 9/11.

Accordingly, we respectfully request that 9/11 not be used any further by either side of the political spectrum to inspire anger, further political agendas, or create destructive divisions between well-meaning and in some cases heart-broken people. To us, doing so represents the true desecration of the day, and worse, it dishonors the many brave patriots who gave their lives and rose in service on 9/11 and afterwards.

David Paine is president and co-founder of MyGoodDeed Inc., the 9/11 nonprofit organization that helped create the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.


WorthyOfUrAttn said...

Erecting a memorial is most honorable and well over due.

Anonymous said...

September 11th Should be a holiday of remembrance and Honor

Michael J Ovens

Matthew Vadum said...

You distort. There is nothing in the article about the 9/11 families. Besides the families do not "own" 9/11." I deal with some of your arguments below.
-Matthew Vadum


Einem Nationalen Tag der Zustellung
August 24th, 2009 by Matthew Vadum

The whole idea of a National Day of Service on Sept. 11, whether voluntary or not and regardless of who is promoting the idea, ought to make advocates of limited government jittery.

I mean, aren’t taxes, by which the productive subsidize the nonproductive, enough? How much more service to the government is needed? Where does it end?

It reminds me of something that Michelle Obama, in her unintentional imitation of Evita Peron last year, said.

"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you…move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

It turns out the First Lady might have meant it.

This all reminds me of the Reich Labor Service, a program instituted to help “green” the Third Reich. The members of the Reich Labor Service appeared prominently in the classic Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will, (I had to watch it in college) bearing shovels in place of rifles.

Throughout this post are some screen grabs from the Leni Riefenstahl film that are worth pondering as we’re urged to plant community gardens and organize welfare recipients on Sept. 11.

I know this blog post will be misrepresented by liberals (and maybe a few conservatives) so for the record, I don’t think President Obama is intent on turning America into Nazi Germany but he is clearly an advocate of virtually unlimited government. The concept of national service as a duty generally does not gain a foothold in free countries nowadays. Note how many countries in socialist Europe require military service.

President Obama has definite Fascist (i.e. corporatist) tendencies in his economic policies, though, as did President Bush in the closing months of his presidency when he got nervous about his legacy and took leave of his senses. (Of course, I am assuming the circumstances made President Bush a corporatist. Perhaps he was one all along.)

Apparently, as a commenter at the American Spectator website just noted, President Bush also urged Americans to do community service. The linked Bush administration press release doesn’t, however, say to do it on Sept. 11 specifically and, unlike the Obama administration, doesn’t seem to put the power (for lack of a better word) of 9/11 to work promoting a particular political party or ideology. Nor does it try to suck all the meaning out of 9/11.

So, to the commenter I can only reply: Nice try. A National Day of Service (which isn’t actually referenced in the Bush document) is a creepy idea no matter who is advancing it.

We do not exist to serve the state. Politicians of both parties nowadays, though especially the Democrats, don’t seem to understand this.

Bahaneh said...

keep it the way it is,In memory of all those who innocently lost their live's.Pain was enough to not forget never ever,do not mix with any holiday,,,,

Gary Baumgarten said...


It is simply a call for volunteerism in memory of those who died. It's not some ominous attempt by the government to force people into doing nefarious things, and frankly, I, as a person who has been involved in many volunteer activities, find the implication repulsive.

Sonny said...

When I look into this I recognize, not only in this specific case, that almost everything nowadays in the US gets politicised... always into a negative way with the intention to harm the ruling government. Certain radio and tv stations supporting all this and often in a "yellow press way" which states that the education system in the US needs to be reformed as well.....

So one gets a lot of half-true infos, of planned mis-interpretations happening right now. This way no surprise that there is groups in the american society who still do not get over it to have a new government running their country for the next few years.


fnthngs said...

I had to go to work on 9/11/01. I felt I shouldn't have been there, I felt guilty going on with the day like nothing had happened, that lives hadn't been changed, acting like the nation hadn't changed, not being able grieve for the lost lives, the familles who had lost innocent lives of loves ones, and not thinking of the turmoil that one of the greates Cities in this nation was enduring. Bin Laden was all but forgotten and pushed aside and then to attack another country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Americans have a lot of healing to do, and this day should Always be remembered, if nothing more than the for Our Great American Spirit. Love to all those that will Never forget.

Allen said...

Any way we look. On September 11 the public and many family and friends lost them love one and never should be politicize September 11.it is day Them America never should forget

Anonymous said...

To all of you: enough already!

Frankly, I think that it's ridiculous to have a "National Day of Service" on 911. Instead, it should be "911 Memorial Remembrance Dat" just as we have a day for Pearl Harbor remembrance.

I can see why some would think it's an attempt to downplay the events of 911. Look at it this way, suppose they decided to rename Independance Day to something like "National Pig Out at the Park Day?" Or "National Fireworks Day?"

911 is what it is: the day that 3000 Americans were brutally killed by Islamic extremists. Calling it something else only masks that fact.

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

Err.. not DAT.. typolitis got me.. I meant to type DAY.

re: Frankly, I think that it's ridiculous to have a "National Day of Service" on 911. Instead, it should be "911 Memorial Remembrance Dat" just as we have a day for Pearl Harbor remembrance.

Gary Baumgarten said...

You apparently overlook the fact, LD that it was a coalition of more than 20 9/11 family groups who for seven years have been pressing for this National Day of Service.

Come to the show today and express your opposing view to David Paine. 5 PM NY time :).

Anonymous said...

Gary said:
"You apparently overlook the fact, LD that it was a coalition of more than 20 9/11 family groups who for seven years have been pressing for this National Day of Service."

And what about the thousands of families NOT part of said coalition? Granted, those who lost someone that day have a particular grievance and loss. However, this was an AMERICAN tragedy. It's owned by all of us, Gary.

This is why it shouldn't be renamed as something that doesn't reflect the event.

You really want me on the show? Come on... I'm old, crotchety, fugly and ornery. heheh

-LD McClellan
oh.. Im surprised youre not talking about the passing of the Lion of the Senate... may he rest in peace.

[I cannot get online to paltalk-Im in seclusion from chat right now]

Doug said...

We have already done all that can be done to denigrate the memory of the event and those killed by electing a man with a Muslim name and a Muslim upbringing. It is actually amazing to me that just a few years after 9/11 that such a man could be elected President. Nothing will ever amaze me again such as this has. Ignored the national day of Christian prayer and acknowledged Muslim holy month with a video, says it all.

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