Remembering 9/11 and the Lesson of Antietam (2023)

It has become my custom on 9/11 to think back to a different day during a different September when America suffered an even more catastrophic loss of life. As I first explained in 2012, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 17, 1862, have become inextricably linked in my mind. In recognition of both events—and as a continuing cautionary tale against forgetting either of them—I offer a repost of a reflection I put up during ECW’s first year, Remembering 9/11 and the Lesson of Antietam.

Titled “Killed at the Battle of Antietam” the image depicts the severe fighting along the post and rail fence and the Hagerstown Pike on September 17, 1862.


2 Responses to Remembering 9/11 and the Lesson of Antietam (2023)

  1. I went to HS in South Orange, New Jersey, and watched the completion of the Towers as they rose above the ridge Newark sat upon,just to our east. I had business meetings in the Towers, stayed in the Marriott at their base, ate dinner at the Windows of the World, and watched the QE II sail into the harbor. The people who destroyed those building, killed all those innocents, took the lives of 9 alumni of my HS, and 180 fellow employees of Aon weren’t like the hot blooded fighters at Antietam, or any of the hundreds of battles of our Civil War. They were the cold blooded soulmates of those who tended the chambers at Auschwitz. Inhuman, utterly inhuman. What happens when humans allow themselves to be ideologically driven, reducing those they disagree with to “the Enemy”.

    1. Great point, John. The “us vs. them” nature of contemporary politics dehumanizes the “them” who disagree with the “us.” If we remembered our shared humanity, that would go a long way toward improving things.

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