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Final thought on the 9/11 anniversary weekend

The sun reflects off of One World Trade Center in New York.

I hope you'll indulge me for a brief final note, as we bring the Marketplace Money program to a close on this most somber weekend.

"I will be so glad when we get past all these 9/11 retrospectives."

Those aren't my words. I'm quoting a friend who was complaining to me this week about the flood of media coverage that was, of course, inevitable 10 years on from the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

But allow me to make the case for how important it is that we do remember. Certainly the lives lost and the sacrifices made. And something else: I fear our post-9/11 outlook on life has faded all too soon. If you walked into any store or office building
or just down the streets of New York City in the dark days and months after 9/11, you couldn't help but feel a common bond, a strong sense of "happy to see you, glad you're here" community, and it seemed everyone had suddenly shifted their priorities.

The other day, I came across an interview I did in the aftermath of 9/11 with a Wall Street stockbroker friend, Ted Weisberg, confiding what that harrowing day had taught him: That there are so many things more important than money.

Ted Weisberg: "I think September 11th really made you kind of refocus what your priorities are. In terms of how important the business is compared to the other things going on in my life or around me. Perhaps coming to Wall Street is not quite as important as it used to be."

And when it comes to keeping an eye on that bigger picture beyond the dollars and cents, I don't think I can put it any better. Thanks so much for making us a part of your weekend. We're glad you're here.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.
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Although I don’t count myself among those who would characterize 9/11 as a government conspiracy, I must say that I count myself among those who opposed America’s reaction to it right from the beginning. Imagine if, instead of immediately waging war on two countries (one of which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11), we had shown a true sense of loss, not punctuated by anger, retribution, unilateral military action and a willingness to embrace torture as a means to an end, but by way of self-examination as a nation, and a willingness to accept the possibility that these terrorists had some legitimate grievance we might want to know about and address on a policy level (did Britain invade France, Scotland, or Palestine in response to years of I.R.A. bombings? Have the bombings increased because they didn’t?)? It wouldn’t be, like, the first time the C.I.A. had been recruited to quietly hunt down a threatening foe, and in this case the motivation would have arguably been justified from policy perspective. 9/11 showed me just how divided we are as a country; how, as a people, we have very different ideas about what it means to be an American. The in-your-face Support Our Troops bumper stickers, the “My Country, right or wrong” mentality, the bullying, jingoistic attitude that screams “might is right”; I never felt any camaraderie with these people at all. I don’t believe that blind obedience to one’s country should be considered exceptionally noble or patriotic, especially not in America.

Bob,

You articulated a point that's not heard enough. The events of 9/11 brought a sense of community and focus on that which we take for granted. It triggered unity and common purpose.

The trade center "footprint" is indeed hallowed ground. I think it's important to remember those lost and those who risked their lives. But just as important is the larger sense of purpose - truly valuing our freedom here in the U-S. Such tragic events seem to bring us together - even for a little while.

Forgetting only feeds complacency. Remembering secures the foundation of our ideals and also keeps us on our toes as a society.

@JudyMartin8

I think America should get over 9/11, it has been far too long and far too much emphasis being placed on 9/11.
If you are a true American like I am then you should go do your research and find the real terrorists who were behind the attacks. It was an INSIDE JOB and if you do not see this then you do not need to vote because you will defiantly vote for the wrong party.

We might have lost 3000 souls but we have also taken TENS OF THOUSANDS ON INNOCENT LIVES OVERSEAS for our greed and ego.

What have we achieved by chasing after a rat (Osama) or by bringing down a nation (Iraq)?? Nothing but a great loose in our economy and our stands of living.

I think we should get over 9/11 because we have created many 9/11s around the world ourselves and have lost many soldiers on the way. Fighting against an enemy which we cants even see nor do they have a nationally recognisable army.

We should concentrate on the reasons as to why our government goes to war, I mean we are the greatest country in the world but thanks to George Bush we act like rats ourselves. Being scared of Islamist. What a joke. Why dont we go and do our research on these muslims and see what they really believe in and over all, they are not even allowed to attack any nation, It is against their religion. So why don't we think twice before we vote for another war against a muslim nation.

I just want to say that i have had enough of us Americans being idiots and we should start to concentrate on how to create peace between countries rather than imposing democracy in their homeland.

Look, don't get me wrong. It was an awful and confronting day but, what truly was behind. I think America has been asking for payback for many decades and, finally it arrived.

Well said. I'm guilty of forgetting not 9/11 (it's the only day of the year I hang a flag outside my home)but the importance of family and friends and even strangers and how fleeting this life can be. Thanks for the reminder.

Wow, there are smart and true Americans left (at least three), and of course, they listen to NPR.

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