Saturday, January 05, 2002

And now I hear that the term "9-11" or "Nine-Eleven" is growing jingoistic and tiresome.

"We don't say '12-7' or '6-6', why should we say '9-11'?"

Well, we do love our succinct nomenclature for traumatic events. I'm sure the good people of Pearl Harbor would rather that the name of this geographic feature didn't carry such unfortunate connotations.

But you have to call it something. Appomattox. Normandy. D-Day, VE-Day, VJ-Day. Bay of Pigs. San Juan Hill. The Gulf War. (The people who live there don't call it that, because for them it didn't end when we left. Which brings us, indirectly, to where we are now.)

"The Attack on the World Trade Center", an awkward mouthful, also ignores the Pentagon strike, as well as the first heroes of this war, aboard a plane that never reached its target. This most recent attack was a co-ordinated campaign intended to hit a widely diverse range of targets. The attacks are united only by the date on which they occurred.

For better or worse, "9-11" is the name that will stick.

No comments: