Goodnight, September 11
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September 11th, 2011

Goodnight, September 11

From the Washington Post:

This weekend, more than 90 syndicated cartoonists will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks through the distilled power of the artfully inked image.

When readers open their Sunday “funnies,” they will see cartoon responses that range from honor to critical anger.

The 9/11 comics tribute, spearheaded by King Features, will include creators from such other top syndicates as Creators, Tribune Media Services and Universal Uclick, and the Washington Post Writers Group. On Sept. 11, all the participating comics will also be viewable at the site www.CartoonistsRemember911.com.

“At a time when the national conversation will be one of remembrance,” King Features comics Editor Brendan Burford told Comic Riffs, “we thought it was appropriate for the cartoonists to join in and give readers something to reflect with.”

To pull back the curtain a bit on this tribute, Comic Riffs asked a sampling of participating cartoonists to share their reactions to commemorating 9/11, as well as their memories of that dark day a decade ago. Here are their thoughts:

DARRIN BELL (“Candorville”):

Ten years ago, on the afternoon of 9/11, I drew an editorial cartoon that caused protests, and became a … national story because it depicted turban-wearing terrorists with a flight manual burning in Hell. The evening of 9/11, I turned to my wife and said, “It’s a good thing Gore didn’t win,” because I wanted blood and I knew Bush would give it to me. I’d spent the previous year drawing cartoons about Bush stealing Florida, yet here I was thanking God Bush was in the White House. He had me.

But then … we invaded the wrong country, started calling each other traitors and started torturing prisoners and mocking the United Nations. We didn’t ask the rich to sacrifice at all.

When King Features asked us to participate in the anniversary project, I spent months trying to come up with an uplifting, forward-looking image. But I realized that’s just not honest, because we didn’t respond to this the way the “Greatest Generation” responded to their [much more perilous] crisis. We fumbled this. We forgot who we were. We did not honor either those who we lost on 9/11, or the heroes who responded to it on our behalf. And while everyone else will probably use the anniversary to honor the victims of 9/11, I thought it was equally important that someone takes a moment to say we have to be introspective, admit our failings and learn from our mistakes.

Ten years ago, when I drew that first cartoon, it was necessary to remind ourselves what was right about America, and to point out that whatever our failings, what they did was inexcusable. Ten years later, it’s time to stop saying “It’s too soon” for introspection.

Read what the other cartoonists have to say at the Washington Post.


Discussion (140)¬

  1. ChayaFradle says:

    Glen Winuk was a volunteer firefighter who saved over 500 people and then died. His brother got congress to make 9 11 a remembrance day, and a day of committing acts of kindness in the victims and heroes' memories. Other people who survived, their stories: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-136382/9-… "Jay helped found MyGoodDeed, a nonprofit that encourages people to remember the victims with acts of kindness on every Sept. 11 anniversary. His lobbying of Congress resulted in September 11 becoming a National Day of Service and Remembrance"

  2. ChayaFradle says:

    Our innocence and naivete as to being "safe" in America died that day. I will never, ever, mourn the loss of civil liberties if the alternative means my children or I might get blown to bits by people with evil intentions.

    • Rob L. says:

      Apparently it gave way to a much greater naivete. Your civil liberties and peace of mind are what terrorists sought to destroy, and your willingness to to surrender freedom for security (most of which is utterly hollow security theater, anyway) is simply handing them a victory.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        When in fear, doing something is better than doing nothing. Maybe you're not afraid and can have the freedom to still vie for lofty idealism. I'm deathly, DEATHLY afraid. Personally, I'd rather live in a safe and not free country than one in which I could be blown to bits and have no control over who attacks me. I see it in the same category as having policemen and laws. Those, too, are preventers of freedom. And I disagree they wanted to destroy our civil liberties and peace of mind. I believe they wanted us to be dead. D E A D. All of us.

        • Joe Mama says:

          If the perpetrators of 9/11 had 'wanted us to be dead' one of the planes wouldn't have flown past a nuclear reactor on the way to its target. Flying into the reactor would have produced far more deaths. The WTC was more symbolic. They wanted us AFRAID. And they were successful.
          Safety is an illusion, and perhaps the wrong goal. For my entire life I have been in danger from Russian nuclear arms. Neither you nor I have ever been safe for a day in our lives. The NY firefighters could have been much safer if they had fled in the other direction. They chose to be brave instead of safe, by confronting risk to do the right thing.
          We too, can choose to be brave or safe. We can "safely" pilot drones that kill many foreigners and perhaps a single target. And we might remain "safe" until the day our victims get their hands on a drone.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            A little about my background… When I WAS young, I helped save people at my own risk. One was someone who was about to commit suicide. One was someone about to slash some people with a razor. I helped save over 1,800 students, mostly children of undocumented or transient Latinos who were in danger when the city school system made a decision to use them as guinea pigs in a weird government experiment, and I single handedly sued the system to stop the experiment, and won. Didn't win a bunch of money, but I got them to stop the experiment, etc. Yes, I suppose I was a hero, but I don't like to think of it like that, because I was ANGRY about the complete insensitivity of the "system" which often CAUSES situations which need rescuing. So, yes, I was brave, WHEN I WAS YOUNG. Now, frankly, I'm tired and old and not in good health (yes, I was a product of that experiment as well). So, when I was young, I chose to be brave. Now, I am choosing safe. Changing years, changing feelings; the only constant about life is change. You're right about the drones. In fact, this is what happened with the discovery of atom bombs, right? When I say that I CHOOSE to be safe over being brave, it's because I tried the brave thing and now I'm tired. I have a 91 year old friend who apologized during dinner for eating her dinner, saying she didn't know why she was eating like there's no tomorrow. I told her she deserves to eat if she wants, rest if she wants, or even sleep if she wants. She has EARNED the right to rest, to eat, to do whatever. In fact, there may not BE a tomorrow for her, right? So it is that I choose to enjoy today, be what may, and not waste energy worrying about things I can't change. What the government does is one of those areas. I will leave this fight to all of YOU who want to change things to do so, and I bow out. That makes me a sheep? I don't care. It makes me a coward? I don't care. I'm too old and too tired.

          • Jim says:

            Okay, what "weird government experiment" are you talking about? Because you're starting to sound a little loony now, Chaya.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            http://articles.latimes.com/1985-04-03/news/mn-28… This had to do with Euclid Ave. Elementary School and the Capri Toxic Landfill that was operating when I was a teacher there. You are right. I do sound loony. I should have just QUIT and walked away. Because of the political infighting, there were delays and deaths. I made them close the school during the cleanup, but they didn't want to, at first. It took a lawsuit. But, this is another story. Actually, you are right! They spread rumors at the school among the teachers that I was loony and not to listen to me. The guys in the Hazmat suits "knew more" and they said it was safe to keep working there and for the kids to keep going to school during the cleanup. The dump was exactly across the street from the school. This, however, is a story for another time. If you want to think I'm loony, go ahead. You won't be the first.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            In fact, I was going to write this all up in an autobiography but all the weird stuff I encountered NO ONE would believe. No one. When I think back on it, I hardly believe it. As for preventing a girl from committing suicide, I was written up for performing an act outside my credential field. Another time, I saved a boy from being stabbed by a gang member by pulling him away, and the principal called social services on me for pulling him by the collar. The girl with the razor? I had a three day unpaid suspension because I touched her hand to get the razor away from her, and it could have caused her to be cut by my doing so. Then, there was a time a fifth grade boy brought a gun to school with bullets, but they weren't in the gun. He used them for SHOW AND TELL. I confiscated them and sent them to the principal and the boy gave a sob story about his dad died and left them to him, so he wanted them back. And he GOT them back. There is so much more, but as I said, yes, I would sound TOTALLY loony. Needless to say, I did suffer from many stress diseases over the years.

            The reason I love Candorville is that I identify with Lemont in so many ways, particularly how it depicts him THINKING something opposite of what he says, etc, and in his dialogue boxes. Excellent work! I've been following Bell's work from around the time of the cartoon he did after 9-11 to now.

          • Machushla Bubbe says:

            Chaya, while I disagree w/ your comments on anti-Semitism & trading freedoms for safety, for what it's worth, I can believe ALL your teaching "war stories." That esp. includes that your school retaliated by with a whispering campaign against you– STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE for school admin all over the country. Here in the Midwest, in a neighboring district a few yrs ago, a teacher was painfully injured by a student Teacher grabbed student's arm to get her off her. [This action was called assault.] Admin denied teacher's request to go to the ER , implying she was exaggerating, so, the teacher went to ER anyway. Dx? Foot broken in several places. NO action ever taken against student. Admin charged the teacher, w/ assaulting student, & insubordination, suspending her for the rest of the school yr. Teacher appealed, to no avail. So, she went to a TV station. Teacher's personnel & med. records were quickly leaked , including that she had a psychiatrist. Media even reported a district official anonymously saying that teacher was "emotionally unstable." Which is why they still allowed her to teach a roomful of children?
            For those who'll scream "Unions make it impossible to fire…"– uh, no, Districts do it ALL the time–and did to this teacher & many I've known, both with & w/o tenure. It's stunningly easy to fire a teacher. A dedicated, long-standing, science teacher colleague was fired [& likewise slandered in the TV news] for "assaulting" a female student. The "assault"? Like your case, Chaya, he was trying to take away contraband & the girl refused. He took hold of the item, never touching the girl, she tugged back & screamed that he'd twisted her wrist. The poor, frail man, who'd given his whole career to that school, had his career ruined.
            I, too, had a student, who talked of suicide, b/c "my mom's in jail & no one cares about me." I repeatedly assured her that was not true. Having been taught that ANY threat of suicide, esp. from a teen, MUST be taken seriously. I went to the girl's counselor, who "assured me" that "Oh, she has a history of lying, don't even take her seriously." Not "assured", I then went to the girl's case-worker. CW: "Oh, don't worry, she's just trying to get attention!" EXACTLY!! So– GIVE her some! The girl's next complaint in class was that her birthday was coming up & she knew that as usual, being in foster care, no one would notice. [I looked it up- she was not lying about her birthday.] I determined to get her at least some token gifts [too much would, of course, raise eyebrows, given all the pedophiles around; besides, I couldn't afford much.] I mailed it, rather than set myself up for all my students expecting birthday presents. My then-husband thought I was crazy & gullible. And, of course, this not being a treacly TV movie, she didn't hug me in weepy gratitude & turn over any new leaf. She made a gruff remark about the gifts, but it was much milder than usual, as if to keep up her tough rep.
            In another district, I tried to report suspected child abuse, when a girl showed me red welts all over her back she said were from a beating from her mother. Same deal from HER counselor– "She's a chronic liar! I don't believe her." So I did an end-run around the counselor, but nothing was done.
            A senior w/ a record was dumped in my class mid-semester. He was always making crude, sexually suggestive remarks, incl. to me, over twice his age, clearly for pure shock value– he was at least suspended a couple of days. But he was also putting the moves on a little 13 yr. old, very naive Freshman [another foster child, abandoned by mother, then father,] With abandonment issues & the "cool factor" of a senior's attentions, she was flattered. But his remarks to others betrayed obvious bad intentions. Again, I went to her counselor. Said I felt I should warn the girl's guardian. Counselor: "No, can't do that– we could be sued for SLANDERING him." !? Before I could go over that guy's head, the lech was soon expelled for other reasons. A few months later, he was arrested for raping an even younger, mentally challenged girl. I didn't feel vindicated; I felt sick.
            Well, all this being quite off of Darrin's brilliantly expressed topic, I'd better quit before I'm called loony.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            I'll bet the union did NOTHING to help the teacher. My union CONSTANTLY turned me down and even went against me in every case. I had to get a private lawyer to take my case for the toxic dump. Their lawyer kept saying they won't take a case they aren't sure they can win. Since the issue of toxic waste was relatively new and unknown at the time, they didn't have assurance. With the other issues, I was turned down by my representatives as well. I had to fight every fight by myself and yet MY DUES to the union were automatically removed from my paycheck. It was illegal to quit the union, as they made some kind of deal with the Board of Ed. so they could be the only union and there would be cooperation as a trade-off. With you, what did your union tell you? Yes, I had the same non-caring response by the counselors as you did (when I did call them for the suicide, I was told to tell the girl to wait until a counselor was available because they were busy the whole day deciding on placements for the classes for the next semester.) Can you imagine? Those IDIOTS!!!! Afterwards, I went to our school social worker and she helped me fill out the reporting form. I kept the girl with me until the social worker took over. I suppose this may have been one of the days I was late getting home to my own latch key kids. My own children never understood why I was so often late coming home from work. I didn't want to bother or scare them with the details. I think they thought I was abandoning them. Perhaps now they are old enough to hear the actual stories.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            Oddly enough, my husband at the time (as if there weren't enough problems in the marriage with him cheating on me, doing gaslighting and projecting, and verbal abuse) was also being threatened in his school (he was also a teacher). He was told that if he didn't get his wife to drop the lawsuit, that HE would be out of a job, and I understand they tormented him in various ways. That led to the final break up three months after the lawsuit was settled; he left me and I had no job with two kids to support. By the way, during the lawsuit, the principal of my school called me in and said, "I'm so sorry about your kids." I asked what he meant. He said, "Well, the bus route they take is dangerous, you know. Something may happen to them." I asked what was he talking about. He said, "You're the one with the lawsuit. Figure it out." Then, I noticed a man parked every day in front of our house across the street, sitting in the car and reading a newspaper. I was so afraid, and kept the kids from playing outside. Because there was so much political wrangling, I didn't know if the police were connected with the machinations of what was going on, so I didn't even trust them to help me. I just had to keep my kids safe! Again, they never knew why I was so nervous and kept them from outdoor play around that time. They just probably thought I was nuts. I was lucky, though, because they were good children and listened to me, although they didn't like being told not to do things. I wish I could apologize to them for not providing a peaceful home life, but they're old now, and believe that I was just a crazy mom, I suppose. One day, maybe I'll have a chance to tell you more about the threats to my own children, even coming from my ex., and how the police told me they couldn't arrest him UNTIL after he did something bad to them that he was threatening. It was so very stressful and took a lot of nerve for me to keep them safe. A whole lot of "don't do this" and "don't get in the car with him", and all that. Again, they don't know the whole story. Maybe they'll never know. I think they'd be crushed and devastated beyond repair? Anyway, those were the days BEFORE restraining orders, etc. History, history, history. So much has changed for the BETTER that when you guys talk about freedoms being taken away after 9-11, that all pales in comparison with how things used to be for me. See, kids nowadays THINK we used to have civil liberties before 9-11. They don't know how it was for people in the McCarthy era who were accused of being communists and lost their jobs and killed themselves over it. They don't know how it was for women before the laws saying men don't own them as property and therefore are not allowed to just willy-nilly have them committed into mental institutions. They don't remember the years when people were given legally required lobotomies and women forced to have their tubes tied. They don't know about the years when children were considered the property of the parents and the parents were legally able to physically abuse their kids and get away with it. I read that in New York there was a time parents could throw their infants in the streets to die or get run over and it was legal. So, you THINK we had civil rights before 9-11? Let me not even TALK about the years before Martin Luther King, Jr. and JFK regarding racial inequality and separate but equal. Those were HAVING civil rights? Puh-leeze. It's like the Republicans saying they want to go back to the good old days? What good old days? When women automatically got less pay then men? When careers were gender based? What good old days? When smoking was pushed on children through the sale of candy cigarettes?

          • ChayaFradle says:

            Oh, I forgot to tell you what experiment. Before Superfund began, there was a "free clinic" for the community to test for lead in the residents' blood. They were told it was a free health clinic. In reality, it was a "pre-test" to get a baseline level, and after the cleanup there would be a "post-test" to see how high the lead and other toxic levels rose in the residents' blood. So, we all (parents, children, faculty, workers) were a part of a "study" to see what would be the effects on humans if they were near the site as it was being cleaned up. They would not at first close the school because it would ruin their experiment. I made them close the school and move the whole student body away from the site for the time of the cleanup. They opened a temporary school and called it Sunrise. After the site was finished, they closed Sunrise and sent the students back to Euclid Ave. Elementary school in El Sereno, CA. My major point in the lawsuit was they can NOT turn us into guinea pigs, and saving lives was more important. People had already gotten cancer and died, and I said if they didn't there would be more deaths. They laughed at me, but after someone else died, they did something shocking to make me settle out of court. The school board offered my lawyer a job and he said, as we were about to go into court, how happy he was because he'd be making more money than he ever made in his life.

          • Joe Mama says:

            Thanks for standing up, Chaya! The whole school was lucky to have you there. I've enjoyed so many of your comments here, I was a little surprised to see what you've written here.
            You know how to do the right thing.
            And you're a teacher.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            Joe Mama, tears are coming to my eyes at your posting. No one in my whole life ever told me that. You really don't know the impact your words have on me. Thank you so very much. You know, even though I'm retired, I think you're right. I'm still a teacher. Sorry, I'm getting choked up right now.

    • Sneezewhiz says:

      You are exactly who Benjamin Franklin was referring to when he said:
      "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

      • MisTeryWriter says:

        Sneezewhiz, for some reason that brings to mind a teacher I had in elementary school. She told us that there are NO RULES in the beginning of the semester because we are free to do the right thing on our own. Then, when some of the kids began to do harm to others, the same teacher POSTED a set of rules which took away our freedoms. I remember being so angry because she PROMISED to not order us around with rules. To a kid, that was really taking away my rights. I don't know why Benjamin Franklin's quote brought that to my memory. I'll have to think about it.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        You're right. I probably don't deserve either, per Benjamin Franklin.

    • Jim says:

      Chaya, you are a sheep.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        Better to BE A LIVE sheep than a dead one.

        • Jim says:

          And your mindless comment proves me right. Thanks.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            A bit of advice. Being right is not the apex of success. If a driver on the road insists on his rights, and is smashed into by someone who can't care less about the driver's rights, the driver is still right, but dead right. You always have to be on the lookout for crazy drivers.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        I don't care. In fact, this world is made of sheep and shepherds. When I was young, I was strong and able to be a shepherd. Now, I'm old, and decide I want to be a sheep. It's more calming, restful, peaceful and completely devoid of those types of stress. So, I should care if someone calls me a name? Who cares?

    • BAM says:

      You're naive to think you're safe driving a car, walking across the street, or breathing around people who might have the flu or eating too much sugar or fat, or trusting large corporations with your environment,…those are the ways you're much more likely to get killed..check out the CDC's statistics if you don't believe me. Do your research.. don't JUST let your emotions be walked like a dog.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        I am not safe driving a car because I know even if I have the right of way, there are crazy drivers who don't care about my rights. So, I have to be aware of them in order to avoid injury from them. Same with walking across the street. You are also right about breathing air around sick people, and to guard against that as much as possible, I wear a scarf around my face, covering my nose and mouth, and I change my seats if someone near me is coughing. I don't just sit there and insist on my right to sit there. You are right about being wary of brain/emotional assaults from the media advertising about how great it is to eat sugary or fatty foods, so I PROTECT myself by reading nutrition labels and refusing to partake in what is, by society, normal. Trusting large corporations with my environment? Hah. When I was young, I SUED a whole city board of education for doing a deadly experiment on a group of Mexican American children and families (and, of course, the faculty, including myself), and got the to STOP it. Do my research? Yes, I did That's why I got the city to stop that. My emotions, now, are TIRED, Bam. I am plain tired. I don't want to fight any more. I'm old, and all that is behind me. So, I pick and choose my battles. What the government does or doesn't do is beyond the scope of my ability to change it, so I have to go with the old serenity poem. GOD GRANT ME the ablity to change things I can,…. and to accept what I can't change. In another post, I explained that SOME civil liberties are so insignificant to me (taking off my shoes at an airport), etc., and that some things the government does are deplorable (torturing prisoners, etc.) Still, even with the deplorable acts, there is nothing at all I can do at my age and ability level. I just want peace in my life. That's ALL I want. If taking away some of my own privacy is the price to pay for my peace of mind, I will take it.

    • MisTeryWriter says:

      Chaya, I've been reading the posts, and realized that there are different interpretations of the term Civil Liberties. You may be referring to something innocuous, and the respondents think you mean something extreme.

  3. ChayaFradle says:

    I remember that cartoon you did, Darrin, and the protests. I think all of America, except those who wanted to justify terrorist activity, were very proud of you. I also remember Jay Leno USING your humor as his own. You replied to my e mail, at the time, that it was a compliment to you.

  4. ChayaFradle says:

    Here is an article mentioning the cartoon by Bell which sparked protests one week after 9 11. http://www.boundless.org/aprint/aprint2005.cfm?ur

  5. ChayaFradle says:

    I found the link to the actual cartoon mentioned in Darrin's blog. It shows the cartoon. http://www.aztlan.net/berdahl.htm Oddly enough, the author is anti-semetic, and writes in his paper about Jews doing ethnic cleansing to Mexicans. http://www.aztlan.net/

    • laser plumb bob says:

      Wow … never saw that before .. very good … but forgive me Darrin, if I hope you're always very careful to make the words in your cartoons large enough to read (e.g."flight manual") … seems that a lot of folks didn't get that part … did the original printing include the additional, repeated text we see at this link??

      • Darrin Bell says:

        No, it didn't. But back then, papers were bigger and cartoons ran much larger. That cartoon took up half a page in the Daily Cal, and everything was perfectly legible. People had to CHOOSE to ignore "flight manual" (and many of them did).

  6. Andrew Goldberg says:

    Great message on 9/11/2011. If only America could truly honor the fallen by reflecting on what has happened since and our position in the world community. This should be a day of soul searching and thinking about what will really make us safe and strong. I believe that our country and our patriotism has been "hijacked" by the military-industrial powers. Until America turns its attention to caring for Americans we will never be secure.

  7. SteveJ says:

    I predict you'll catch a lot of flak for saying what really needed to be said on this 10th anniversary. The other comics today all had lovely and very predictable messages but yours is the one people need to think about today. Thank you!!

  8. laser plumb bob says:

    Thanks Darrin! … Your message is very close to what I've been thinking … how all the wrong lessons were learned … and how maybe this anniversary is an opportunity to finally see that, and to finally learn from our mistakes . ….. The lesson that may have been forgotten is that many more people died needlessly, on all the days before, and after, 2001 Sep 11, not just Americans, and that all of their needless deaths are just as sad as this one day's worth which America has chosen to honor.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      Laser, yes, all deaths are sad. But, in our NATIONAL sense of mourning, I only remember TWO events which ached in my heart this terribly. The first was when JFK was assassinated. We still ask where were you when this happened, and how did you feel. I remember that, also, very clearly. Then, on 9 11, this was a national tragedy. The other deaths are just as important on an individual basis, but these were important to us as a country. It was as if, for one moment, we were all joined in mourning no matter what political party, etc. I assume the older generations feel the same about Pearl Harbor, etc.

      • MisTeryWriter says:

        I agree on these two but would add the assassination of Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr. Did you forget him?

        • ChayaFradle says:

          Oh, yes. Thanks for reminding me. I was totally DEVASTATED when Martin Luther King was killed. I LOVED the man and what he stood for, and memorized most of his "I have a dream" speech. Of course, now that I've had a stroke, I do forget things.

  9. SneezeWhiz says:

    Darrin, excellent cartoon, hits the nail pretty squarely, but you left out how we "honored" first responders by making them sue for health care and how we continue to honor our returning military, wounded or not, by kicking them to the curb after they leave the service.
    Talk is cheap, and we honor and repay sacrifice as cheaply as possible.

  10. Jim says:

    Bush messed up regarding military and civil policies after 9/11. And Obama is continuing his failed policies. What does that tell you?

  11. MisTeryWriter says:

    I see freedom as being a privilege and not a right and agree with Chaya on one point. There is a time and place for everything, and there is a time for lock downs and implementing martial law. I can see a time in America when it will be again safe to fly in airplanes without pat downs or bag checks. However, it would be foolish, in my opinion, to let our defenses down this soon after 9 11. Young people may believe 10 years is a LONG time. We older ones know that 10 years is but a short moment in time, A better estimate of when we can again enjoy our freedoms and claim our rights as citizens is when the threat of violence disappears or loses its impact. Would 50 years be more appropriate than ten? This would be a more logical estimation of when we can again let our guard down. I do understand the frustration of young people, however. They want their freedoms and they want them now without concern for consequences.

  12. Maggie says:

    Thank you for expressing my feelings so well. Freedom is a dangerous way to live; people have forgotten that. My friends who grew up behind the Iron Curtain told me that they always felt "safe" in their cities…but that they preferred the freedoms of the pre-9/11 America to the "safety" of their authoritarian homes.

    We have been all too willing to give up our freedoms for the illusion of safety. And it IS an illusion…far more Americans die because of America's love of firearms than died on 9/11, and we kill each other in even greater numbers on the highways by drinking when we drive.

    The only people who can lose America are Americans themselves — when they give up American ideals and the challenges of those ideals for a life where they don't have to think. It ain't easy living in a republican democracy. Citizens have to act with thought, and cooperate, and be adults; they have to understand that freedom comes at a cost for everyone, not just military people.

    I've told my family that if I ever lose my life because of a terrorist action and they support more loss of our liberties because of that loss, I will come back and haunt them with stars and stripes waving furiously. I am an American citizen and I know that we ALL must be ready to sacrifice to support freedom, even if that means dying in support of the idea of America. Freedom doesn't come from above, people, it comes from everyone of us being willing to make the sacrifices that freedom demands, which includes not always feeling safe.

    Believe me, I wouldn't feel safe if a neighbor packed all the firearms that the law allows — but I support what the Constitution allows because I am more afraid of tyranny than freedom.

    Mourn and honor your dead, America. Recognize those who were heroes (just dying does not make you a hero, btw). But get over your self-pity. Grow up.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      I don't believe in citizens owning guns, but am very grateful we have policemen! Um. Let's see. Wanting to stay alive is equated with self pity? On what planet?

    • ChayaFradle says:

      When I was young, I, too, was passionate about causes. Each generation finds a need and tries to improve society. This is the way it should be in a thinking world. With me, I've been there, done that, and now I can relax and care about living from year to year without having to fight for a cause. I do applaud you all, however, for having the youth, energy and resolve to speak up for the ideal way of living. If only it could be so easy.

    • MisTeryWriter says:

      Since Chaya and I seem to be in the same generation of older baby boomers, I can understand what she is saying. It doesn't help to call names or imply that because Chaya is of a different opinion, that necessarily means she is having self-pity. Intelligent discourse does not resort to name calling.

  13. Dave Kaye says:

    Chaya, where do you even live? What is it about unwarranted phone tapping, torture, calling people that don't believe in torture "unamerican," our loss of standing in the eyes of the world, the murder of thousands of Iraqis, and having to take your shoes off to board an airplane that makes you feel "safer?" Because frankly, madam, it scares the heck out of me.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      OK, I see DEGREES of bending, and then there are lines which shouldn't be crossed. Phone tapping and spying on conversations is ok if it help prevent another 9 11. So is TRICKING prisoners into telling information. Then comes the line over which I feel it is totally disgusting to cross. That would be torture like waterboarding, humiliation like the female guard who made the get naked, etc. We should NOT have had the war with Iraq but should have gone immediately into Afghanistan and Pakistan to find Bin Laden. I think the war had more to do with oil pipelines and money that our vice president wanted. I also detest Bush's methods of acting like a cowboy and putting a price on the heads of the terrorists, etc. on playing cards. That makes me SO disrespect and despise him. Taking my shoes off? If they can stand the stink, what do I care? So, there are things I do accept and things I do not. In fact, I also think we should have put Bush up on charges just like they did for the Nazi commanders of the Holocaust. You see, I'm not just a one way of thinking person. There are issues, and then there are other issues. Some, I say OK, and some I detest.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      I don't think my response will show up, so here's a summary. I don't believe you can take ALL the items you mentioned and give them all equal disgustability. (My term.) Do I care if someone taps my phone? No. I never talk about things that would alert someone that I am dangerous. Do I care if I have to take my shoes off? No. Do I believe in torture? No, that's terrible. Do I believe we should have gone to war? No, not there, anyway; and not only that, I think Bush should be behind bars for what he and his sidekick did.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      You are afraid of taking off your shoes?

  14. BAM says:

    I was dreading reading the comics today, because I knew about the plan for the cartoonists to all have the theme of September 11. I knew there would be a lot of schmaltzy "Always Remember" panels with the regular characters all looking solemnly at the smoking towers.. These types of remembrances just seem to fuel the hate for muslims, and fuel the war profiteers. Darrin, your strip isn't called "Candorville" for nothing, is it? Sarcasm is always allowed… or we're not really free–are we?

    • ChayaFradle says:

      Bam, I love your post. It is so clear and to the point. Also, I love the terms you used, such as "fuel the war profiteers". You really know how to express yourself!

  15. Rehcse says:

    Why must there be an agenda on such a solemn day? I hope you took some time to read the other strips that chose to remember those who have died in lieu of trying a sad attempt to make their point. Never miss an opportunity…

  16. ChayaFradle says:

    Hmm. It says 30 comments, but I only count 14. Where are the others?

    • Jim says:

      I noticed one of the comments that got deleted was me calling you out for your stupid "I'm okay with giving up my civil liberties" post. So I say it again: Chaya, you are a SHEEP.

    • Darrin Bell says:

      They're there, but the IntenseDebate plugin is buggy. They may only show up for you after you reload the page a few times.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        Why do some of my posts say they must be approved by the site administrator?

        • SuLu says:

          Chaya, there are automatic protocols that kick in even on such innocuous sites as lol cats [ICHC]! When a post includes a link, it may automatically be sent to "moderators" to be sure it is a "safe" [i.e., not an infectious virus] link and that it is not spam for a commercial site [ever see those spam posts on other threads, trying to sell shoes or even escort services? They're everywhere, often sent by machine programs, or hired spammers ("make thousands at home, just by posting links!".]
          Another automatic protocol is when the same person comments on one thread more than x number of times– those are also checked to be sure they are not spam, or people conducting abusive, name-calling arguments [& I mean WAY worse names than "sheep"! Some of the political threads, and even youtube, have some really foul-mouthed, angry folks; this thread, what I've read so far, is at least civilized debate.]
          Finally, as to your question on the number of posts– This one seems set up to "compress" long threads of Replies, so that you have to click on each of the yellow "X replies" to see all the additional comments. Only if you click every one of those will the thread show all the comments in a row.
          Btw, I share the question about what dangerous "experiment" you sued to stop? Was it a school w/ asbestos in it? I read one horror of a law case yrs ago, about a school where, after supposed "asbestos abatement," the SHOP teachers were ordered to sweep up what was asbestos dust all over the classrooms. They, in turn, had probably had their students help them.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            I explained about the Capri toxic landfill in a different post a little before this one, I think. I just recently did that. This is a link re: it. http://articles.latimes.com/1985-04-03/news/mn-28… What I didn't mention was that, yes, at the SAME TIME the Superfund was cleaning the dump across from the school, workers were IN THE CLASSROOMS with their hazmat suits and helmets TAKING OUT asbestos from the ceilings. We had to go to class and walk through about an inch or more of the asbestos as it fell from the ceilings of the classrooms. Someone said I was loony. Actually, I was loony for staying and fighting it. I think if I was rational, I'd have just quit being a teacher. They said at first I couldn't transfer and I had to stay there because they were doing an experiment and my leaving would jeopardize the final conclusions, as I was a part of it.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            Thanks for the information about the truncating of the messages.

  17. Jim says:

    Bush, Obama, and nearly all of our elected officials have betrayed us in the wake of 9/11, getting us involved in unnecessary wars and taking away our civil liberties in the name of "security." 10 years is too long to put up with this shit.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      After Bin Laden was "taken out", that should have ended everything. But, after all, if we stopped homeland security, then what? Now that violent people know we are vulnerable, they will take advantage.

  18. pointofyou says:

    Your strip today was the only one that spoke to me. I have avoided coverage today elsewhere (not reading the articles in the newspaper, watching tv or reading/viewing anything online. I hope today's Cantorville opens a few eyes.

  19. JMMajer says:

    Dear Mr . Bell:

    Wonderful strip for 9/11. Instead of a another stock 9/11 strip, a real patriotic strip!

    • ChayaFradle says:

      I agree. My ideas may be a bit different, but I admire the way Darrin expresses his views. Also, look how many "hits" this website has invoked in just a few hours after publishing? We all need to vent, one way or another, and with the other kinds of cartoons, there is nothing to say, debate, think about. They are there for viewing only and to help us get out a good cry. This one says, "Hey, let's think about the ways we do things". I agree we should think. I'm just saying not to get bent out of shape at the slowness of change, and to understand WHY it is taking so long. I do, however, wish we could stop the wars against terror and go for wars (if need be) to help save other people from evil, despotic dictators who do inhuman things to their own people.

  20. Charles Lawrence says:

    Thank you Mr. Bell. You captured the thoughts and concerns of my wife and myself. There were a few hours on that day when there was open discussion about whether the attacks should be defined as an act of war or as a crime. Then the President declared war. I have been mourning the loss of my country ever since.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      Ah. I never thought of that. Yes, it was a crime. It was not a war, because the perps were not representative of a country. Interesting thought. Thank you.

  21. ChayaFradle says:

    The terrorists were more like a GANG of thugs than a legal representative of any country. Therefore, no war should have taken place IN a country. I remember thinking it strange to declare war against an IDEA. You can't have a war against EVIL. Evil will always exist. You can't say the country declared war, because the perps didn't represent a country. How would you have handled it? I am thinking economic sanctions against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? What do you think?

  22. Jeff Syrop says:

    Right on, Mr. Bell. Most Amerikans still have it all wrong. I wonder if you read this Chris Hedges piece about how we SHOULD be celebrating 9/11: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/libya_here_we
    Keep up the good work!

    • ChayaFradle says:

      I read the truthdig site and it was ok up until the anti-semetic, anti-Israel remarks. PREJUDICE, slanted, hatred toward Jews. When will it ever end? Also, AfriKANS is a correct spelling, but not AmeriKANS.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      The Chris Hedges piece, by throwing Israel to the wolves, convinces me MY OWN position is CORRECT. Thank you for bolstering my opinions. America is doing JUST FINE, thank you very much. We have had NO MORE 9 11 type of attacks. SOMEthing must be going right.

      • Jeff Syrop says:

        I guess you supported Apartheid in South Africa as well. Israel is throwing ITSELF to the wolves by acting like a wolf. I spelled "Amerikans" correctly. These are people who supported Bush and McCain/Palin and now Perry. They are not Americans.

        • MisTeryWriter says:

          I will stick up for Chaya. She is in my same age range and generation of baby boomers. Do you know the expression that when you ASSume something is true you are making an ass of you and me (spelling). If you want to know, ASK. Don't guess. This is bad, unhealthy communication. I think you would be shocked at her answer, Mr. Jeff.

        • ChayaFradle says:

          First, here is "Amerikans". It is an insult. Semi-derogatory word directed towards people of british origin. Used the same way yankee or yank is used to insult americans. It also is some rock group or something and a tv show, but is not a generally recognized word to depict Americans. Second, you assume incorrectly about my position on Apartheid. I took my money out of B of A because they supported it, and my sons and I marched against it. I can't stand Chris Hedges. He's a terrible person.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      You don't get it. AMERICANS can put down America, but YOU have no right. Put YOUR OWN country down and leave us alone!

      • Jeff Syrop says:

        I AM an American, and I'm Jewish. I'm not putting my country down, I'm putting down the IDIOTS who live in it. Fundamentalist "Christians" put Bush in power for 2 terms and as a result, a million Iraqis died for nothing. And now Perry is shaping up as a top contender. America is an idea more than it's a place, and while the idiots who voted for McCain/Palin and who believe Earth is 6,000 years old happen to LIVE in America, they are no longer Americans. They voted for Bush, who didn't even know the three branches of our federal government when he first ran for office. Here is his emphatic statement: http://www.zenhell.com/_v2/files/bushisms.html
        "The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law."
        —George W. Bush, Austin, Texas, Nov. 22, 2000 http://www.slate.com/id/76886/

  23. ChayaFradle says:

    Wow, the anti-Semites come out in droves when putting down America. I wonder why. Could it be prejudice, you think?

    • Macushla Bubbe says:

      Chaya, you do KNOW, don't you, that criticism of Israel or its government is NOT automatically anti-Semitism, don't you? I did not see any anti-Semitism in the Chris Hedges article Jeff linked to [which was about our intervention in Libya, not 9/11], nor even any mention of Jews or Israel. I even tried a word search to see what I may have missed. I didn't dig into the whole truthdig site, as you may have, but I then clicked to the other Chris Hedges article, specifically the one on 9/11. Now that one DID mention Israel and its oppression of the Palestinians, but I don't see how what he said was anti-Semitism at all. I don't ENTIRELY agree with Hedges' statement about the roots of the 9/11 attacks, altho there is some truth to it. But I also do not agree with the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians [Palestinians are NOT all killers, nor terrorists, nor even anti-Semitic– in fact, they ARE Semites, you know? If that seems like hair-splitting, I'll also add that they are not all anti-Jewish.] Many Jews, in Israel and world-wide, also support Palestinian rights. May I suggest you look up the organization, Rabbis for Human Rights, of which I am a (non-Rabbi) supporter. I have donated to them in memory of a my dearest & lifelong friend, a murdered Jewish physician (who, btw, had once represented the U.S. in the Maccabee Games in Isreal) who likewise supported the Two State Solution & who grieved Israel's' (the govt., NOT all Jews) treatment of Palestinians (ALL of them, not just the Intifadists). RHR planted an olive tree in his honor, as part of replacing the Palestinian-owned olive groves that Israelis keep burning down. – Remember those birthday cards when we were growing up, 'In your honor, a tree has been planted in Israel"?

      I gather from your other comments, that you consider that non-Americans have "no right" to criticize America [yet Chris Hedges & Jeff Syrop are Americans, as am I], so I suppose that non-Israelis are not allowed to criticize Israel? And if they do, they are anti-Semitic? Then another of your comments criticizes Americans who criticize Americans and people of color who speak badly of other people of color. AND you then equate them with people "who HATE (my emphasis) their own religion"! So criticism = hate? Yet, in a comment above, you crudely accuse our President of "kissing butt." I'm confused.

  24. Jeff Syrop says:

    One thing I didn't like, though, was Susan calling today "9/11 Day". It's dangerous to even play around that way. This day doesn't deserve to have a "day" named after it. Think how many times 3,000 people were killed in Nazi bombing raids against England in World War 2, yet they don't name each site where people died "ground zero" and they don't celebrate a "day" every year for each one.

    • MisTeryWriter says:

      Jeff, the Jews have a holiday for the Holocaust. They are a family spread all over the world, and the Shoah is their holiday. Americans, out of respect, have Dr. Martin Luther King Day because of what he represented as far as healing the racial divide in America. We have a holiday for the 9-11 because of one particular firefighter who saved over 500 lives and, in doing so, sacrificed his own lives for theirs. His brother petitioned for this holiday and added that it should be a day of performing a kindness and healing the world, which I believe is called Tikkun Olam in Hebrew. In my opinion, every day should be a day of kindnesses to others; however, since people do forget, this is a great holiday for it.

  25. ChayaFradle says:

    Americans putting down Americans. Reminds me of people of color who speak badly of other people of color or people in any religion who hate their own religion. There is a saying that I CAN talk badly about my family but you are NOT a part of my family, so you can't insult us and get away with it.

  26. Monarda says:

    I want to thank you for saying what you did in today's comic. Too few acknowledge that so many of the freedoms that were once the hallmark of our democracy have disappeared in the wake of 9/11.

  27. Ellamay says:

    Congratulations, Darrin! You sweep away the bs and shine a bright light on the reality of 9/11.

  28. Aimee says:

    Thank you, Mr. Bell, for your comic today. After reading it, I had to look you up and tell you how good it felt to know I'm not the only one mourning in a "different" way today. I was feeling very lonely this morning, and you helped ease that.

  29. Mrs L says:

    Courageous and truthful. Thank you for throwing on a light in the fog of maudlin 'remembrance' and mass self-importance. I will be reading your strip.

  30. Dave Solarz says:

    Mr. Bell, once again I must congratulate you for having the courage to run what needs to be said instead of the safer, what everybody wants to hear. We honor the people who do so in our movies (the one that comes to mind off hand is Michael Keaton's character in "Gung Ho" when he finally comes clean to the town,) yet we vilify them in real life. How many whistle-blowers and others who have rocked the boat or said something contrary to the popular opinion have had their careers ruined? In short, thank you, Mr. Bell.

  31. MisTeryWriter says:

    Then comes tomorrow, when people will no longer remember this holiday which has attached to it the reminder to do an act of kindness.

  32. ChayaFradle says:

    I can't find Macushla's comment here. Where did it go? Anyway, she asked me a question. Here's my answer: I, too, am confused. I was just angry, that's all. I shouldn't have posted in anger. You are, of course, correct.

    • Macushla Bubbe says:

      Chaya, My comment is on the first page, hidden in the "nesting pattern's" "1 Reply" to your comment: "Wow, the anti-Semites come out in droves when putting down America. I wonder why. Could it be prejudice, you think?" And right before Jeff Syrop's comment objecting to Susan referring to "9/11 Day." In it, I also wondered what it was of Chris Hedges' article was specifically anti-Semitic, as opposed to being critical of the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians [both in Israel proper & the occupied & formerly occupied territories, I'm guessing]? Since you posted a more recent comment about despising Chris Hedges, I gather that this comment here, about posting in anger, was not referring to that accusation of yours [that his article is anti-Semitic], but rather to your statements about who did not have the right to criticize America?

      • ChayaFradle says:

        There were two links given. The first was something like "Azatlan" something where they said Jews were doing ethnic cleansing on Mexicans ( a Jewish owner of a building wanted to upgrade into something more expensive to make more money. Instead of saying money was the reason, they said he wanted to get Mexicans out and clear the neighborhood of Mexicans.) They used derogatory terms about Jews. This other site spoke of Jewish "occupation" of Lebanon, which is an inflammatory phrase. Why not say that AMERICANS are OCCUPYING the Native Indian land and we should give it back to them and we should just destroy our own selves or leave, go back to London, Ireland, or wherever was our origin. It is hypocritical to say Israel should give up what was won in the 7 day war which was NOT started by them if we won't give up any of our North American land to the natives. Yes, some groups, even Jewish groups, are calling for a 2 state solution, but I feel they are sell-outs and it will come to no good. As soon as there are two states, Hamas will take over and finish their stated goal of obliterating all Jews and Israel itself. Anyone who thinks that there will be peace in a 2 state solution is highly mistaken. There will be more wars, more promises which will be broken, more angers and bloodshed. This IS my opinion now, although I USED to believe otherwise. My first thought was, hey, have two democratic countries side by side and they can happily be friends and work and play together. Then, I grew up and saw the light. It is NOT going to happen as long as Hamas is in control and they are being BANKROLLED by other Arab countries.

        • Macushla Bubbe says:

          OK, that Aztlan site is not only anti-Semitic, it's crazoid. You'll get no argument from me there. But I was not seeing the anti-Semitism you say Chris Hedges was spouting in the totally unrelated truthdig site. I do not think Israel has any right to occupy Lebanon, Gaza or Golan Heights, let alone destroy Palestinian homes & olive groves, as they do repeatedly, nor limit Palestinian travel & imports. Israel did not "win" Lebanon in the Six Day War; Lebanon was & is a sovereign nation, which WAS partially occupied by Israel in the wake of much later hostilities between them in the 1980s -1990s. As for Gaza, Golan Hts, and earlier, the Sinai Peninsula, Israel did not "win" them either. In a modern, civilized, United Nations/World Court world, nations do not have the right to take territory by war, no matter who "started it." It is not comparable at all to 500 year old injustices & massacres perpetrated by European colonial empires against native North AND South Americans. We have no control over what England, Spain, France & Portugal did to both continents 400-500 yrs ago & no power to undo it. [For my part, by the time MY ancestors got here, we were defending the Union in the Civil War, not massacring Indigenous Peoples, nor owning slaves.]

          As for the Two State Solution, I harbor no illusions of happily ever after. But an entire people were displaced & generationally impoverished, within our parents living memory, not thru their own fault, but that of a group of genocidal psychotic murderers in Europe who'd been defeated at terrible cost. Something accounting is owed. I guess I'm a sellout & highly mistaken, but there it is. Meanwhile, I gotta get outa this thread!

  33. ChayaFradle says:

    Sept. 11, 1974, 2 weeks after the twin towers were built, the Rebbe from Chabad made a speech. He said that the world out there has many terrible events happening, and said let the twin towers be a light to bring goodness into the world. Here is a part of the Chabad editorial:

    A decade has passed, with shoe bombers, underwear bombers, and mail bombers attempting to thwart us. Our naivete has vanished, but we have yet to discover security and calm. Our elected officials and public servants dedicate timeless efforts to better our safety. But there is an important contribution of the ordinary citizen of the world.

    A world shrouded in darkness calls for a greater intensity of light, brightness that each one of us creates around ourselves.

    We were advised to light EXTRA candles on Shabbot to symbolize that we are, in a small way, brightening the world's darker side.

  34. stewartiii says:

    NewsBusters: Comic Strip Artists Honor Memory of 9/11 Victims, and Then There's 'Candorville' http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2011/09

  35. HollyCarrillo says:

    Mr. Bell,
    Thank you for this submission. Takes a lot of courage to say what needs to be said. I will be following your strip more regularly!

  36. Darrin Bell says:

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      Hmm. I wonder from whom you got the inclination to go off on your own travels even when no one else is taking your path. Must have been someone who was a strong role model? Congratulations on having the courage to do as Robert Frost suggested he did in his poem "The Road Not Taken".

      • Flig Narson says:

        And how, exactly, is this courage? It's not exactly as though Bell is saying something nobody else has said. I am always amused that 'progressives' go around congratulating themselves on 'speaking truth to power,' or some such crap, and pretending that it took a great deal of courage to do so… like they risk being thrown into prison camp or something. Give me a break. "The Road Not Taken"? Don't make me laugh. That road has been "courageously" taken so many times, and by so many people, that's it's recently been six-laned.

        • ChayaFradle says:

          Flig, I just re-read the above comment and saw that I overlooked your last description of the road not taken. VERY creative. I am SO chuckling! You're brilliant!

    • ChayaFradle says:

      No, this was not narcissism. It was a Robert Frost re-creation:

      TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
      And sorry I could not travel both
      And be one traveler, long I stood
      And looked down one as far as I could
      To where it bent in the undergrowth;

      Then took the other, as just as fair,
      And having perhaps the better claim,
      Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
      Though as for that the passing there
      Had worn them really about the same,

      And both that morning equally lay
      In leaves no step had trodden black.
      Oh, I kept the first for another day!
      Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
      I doubted if I should ever come back.

      I shall be telling this with a sigh
      Somewhere ages and ages hence:
      Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
      I took the one less traveled by,
      And that has made all the difference.

  37. Flig Narson says:

    So on just one day, you couldn't keep it apolitical and honor the occasion, could you? One commenter said you said "what needed to be said." Well a great many other people said it, and said it better than you did, and did not use this solemn anniversary to do so. This strikes me not so much as a statement that "needed to" be made, but rather narcissism in its most tasteless form.

    • To me, all the strips simply flying a flag, saying "Never Forget", or "Freedom isn't free" (justifying the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan and the hundreds of thousands who died there) represent narcissism — or cowardice for just going along with the flow, or just plain blindness and ignorance.

      As criminal as 9/11 was, we should all take a close look at how the U.S. government has used our horror at 9/11 to pull us behind it, supporting its acts which have been many times more criminal (if measured in people killed). The criminal wars still continue, and every official 9/11 commemoration serves to fan the flames.

      I for one applaud a little truth-telling on 9/11 rather than mindless flag-waving.

      • Flig Narson says:

        Well, bully for you. I disagree with what you have to say. But that does not mean that I am ignorant, or engaged in "mindless" flag-waving. It is that arrogance — the self-righteousness of the America-should-be-ashamed-of-itself crowd, that I find off-putting.

        And your solution, post-911, would have been what? Navel-gazing? Trying to figure out what we did to make them so gosh-darned mad? Really. What would YOU have done, had you had the power?

  38. Drew says:

    Mr. Bell, I am an Afghanistan war veteran, and you couldn't have possibly offended me more.

    • Darrin Bell says:

      Why?

      • Drew says:

        I apologize for taking so long to reply. Instead of using the day as a day to remember the people who died in the attack, and those who died later as a response to them, you decided to rant. Whether the rant was justified is another debate. But I took offense at using the day to air your grievances. It's your right, and it's your strip. I just wanted to let you know how I felt about it.

        • Darrin Bell says:

          Thanks for your response. I feel there was no more appropriate a day to point out that all the memorials and all the solemnity in the world can't change that America does not honor those who died in the attack, or those who died later as a response to them, with the actions we've taken.

          I think demanding we do better by them is a more appropriate and useful way to honor those we've lost, than simply reminding people that we lost them (after all, nobody who lived through that time needs a reminder;, because we'll never forget).

    • ChayaFradle says:

      Did I miss something in the comic? Where did Bell say the war veterans did something wrong? I can't remember where, but I think I remember somewhere where he said you guys were awesome (or some such adjective). Oh, he said invading the wrong country. Actually, that may be right, as the right country was Afghanistan (and I believe, Pakistan, also), no? It wasn't the soldiers' fault for going in and fighting. It was their commander in chief giving faulty directions. You guys did your jobs TOTALLY with admiration, courage, and dedication!!!! In fact, you guys DID find Bin Laden and take him out, right? I am wondering, however, why the war is still going on? What is the objective NOW at this point? Did they explain it to you? What were you told?

    • ChayaFradle says:

      Oh, I am remembering why we went into Iraq. Saddam (Sad Dam) was doing things to his own people and had TORTURE CHAMBERS under his palace, etc. We forget those things.

  39. Darrin Bell says:

    You honor solemn occasions your way, I'll honor them my way. And I chose to honor this occasion by asking Americans to think candidly about how we responded to what happened ten years ago. If you don't want to do that, I understand.

  40. Chaya's starting to feel like a troll.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      Ken, what's a troll? Are you talking about the storybook monsters? This must be a tech term. I know about BOTS, so is a troll like a bot? You know I don't usually chat this long. 9-11 really, REALLY affected me. Seriously.

    • ChayaFradle says:

      I looked it up on Wikipedia, and you are right. I am so sorry. The reason I got off topic before was that I was defending myself when a couple of people called me names. I was a sheep, etc. I should not have done that on Darrin's site. Forgive me? However, I didn't do it to "evoke a response" or get people off topic on purpose.

  41. AlexR says:

    I got around to reading Sunday's comics today. I was blown away by yours.

    I saw tons of predictable 9/11 strips. Some just seemed lazy; draw a flag or an all-black panel and don't bother thinking up anything meaningful. I liked Doonesbury's strip though, which made a point and had a punchline. I was surprised how simple and effective Sally Forth's was.

    Yours was my favorite though. I watched the news coverage yesterday and felt my blod boil when I saw George W. Bush speaking at Ground Zero about how faith in God will get us through this. I couldn't list all the things that make that an outrage. I wanted to see one protester. One sign. I'd hoped one family member of someone who'd died in the towers would have pointed at Bush and said, "You may not be responsible for this, but you let in the men who were. You fell asleep on your watch."

    As a culture, we treat victims strangely, expecting them to just sit there quietly crying with a halo of innocence around them. If they speak out, we consider it impolite. And if anyone blames them for anything, we consider it obscene. All Americans were victims on 9/11, yes, but some of us are not innocent. Some of us did inexcusable things in the time afterwards, and some of us did nothing to stop it.

    I am sick of hearing the lie that "We are a stronger nation now, unchanged by what the terrorists did to us." We aren't unchanged. We as a people showed that we would accept any heinous thing in the name of 'protecting' us. We did nothing to stop tax cuts for the rich, torture, subversion of our constitution… We didn't start protesting until Obama threatened us with a public option for health insurance.

    Despite sounding like I hate America, I don't. I think we are ahead of the rest of the world in many areas. But in others, we look at the finish line ahead of us, and just sit down and say "That's close enough." I love my country but I hate seeing the potential it wastes. I hate the fact that I so often feel ashamed of it. I feel towards my country the way the child of an alcoholic feels towards their self-destructive parent. That same mixture of love and disappointment.

    I hate that I can't love my country wholeheartedly.

    • Darrin Bell says:

      Thank you for your eloquent response. You've pretty much summed up my feelings about the entire decade.

    • MisTeryWriter says:

      Alex, I agree with Darrin that your posting was eloquent. The fact that pure emotion shows through rather than just criticism will enable even those who disagree to accept your position as valid and patriotic.

      • AlexR says:

        Thanks very much.

        I definitely agree that there's different types of criticism. I really don't want to be the kind of person who just bitches about stuff to get attention. When I complain, it's not about me. It's about me seeing a problem, and wanting to see it get fixed.

  42. […] diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference. "The Road Not Taken" is popular poem published in 1916 written by Robert Frost. This poem has been …e is willing to take.   The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow […]

  43. sugarkat says:

    I avoided all media the days leading up to and the day of 9/11/2011. I knew I couldn't handle watching, hearing, or reading whatever people felt was appropriate to put further on that anniversary, especially since so much of it would be so shallow and inane and the pain was still too deep for me. I wish I hadn't avoided your strip, though, Mr. Bell. I nearly started to cry when I saw the Twin Towers in your art, and I wanted to hug you for writing what you did. Thank you, Mr. Bell. Thank you, thank you.

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