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Reprise: NYT Sick Of 9/11, Not Princess Di

[This is a reprise of an article we posted back on September 1, 2007.]

From where else but the New York Times:

As 9/11 Nears, How Much Tribute Is Enough?

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Published: September 2, 2007

Again it comes, for the sixth time now — 2,191 days after that awful morning — falling for the first time on a Tuesday, the same day of the week.

Again there will be the public tributes, the tightly scripted memorial events, the reflex news coverage, the souvenir peddlers.

Is all of it necessary, at the same decibel level — still?

Each year, murmuring about Sept. 11 fatigue arises, a weariness of reliving a day that everyone wishes had never happened. It began before the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. By now, though, many people feel that the collective commemorations, publicly staged, are excessive and vacant, even annoying.

“I may sound callous, but doesn’t grieving have a shelf life?” said Charlene Correia, 57, a nursing supervisor from Acushnet, Mass. “We’re very sorry and mournful that people died, but there are living people. Let’s wind it down.” …

As the ragged nature of life pushes on, it is natural that the national fixation on an ominous event becomes ruptured and its anniversary starts to wear out. Once-indelible dates no longer even incite curiosity. On Feb. 15, how many turn backward to the sinking of the battleship Maine in 1898?

Few Americans give much thought anymore on Dec. 7 that Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 (the date to live in infamy). Similar subdued attention is paid to other scarring tragedies: the Kennedy assassination (Nov. 22, 1963), Kent State (May 4, 1970), the Oklahoma City bombing (April 19, 1995).

Generations, of course, turn over. Few are alive anymore who can recall June 15, 1904, when 1,021 people died in the burning of the steamer General Slocum, the deadliest New York City disaster until Sept. 11, 2001. Also, the weight of new wrenching events crowds the national memory. Already since Sept. 11, there have been Katrina and Virginia Tech. And people have their own more circumscribed agonies…

Some people are troubled by what they see as others’ taking advantage of the event. “Six years later, we can see that a lot of people have used 9/11 for some gain,” said Matt Brosseau, 27, of Westfield, N.J. He sees the public tributes as “crassly corporatized and co-opted by false patriots.”

“Me personally, I wouldn’t involve myself in a public commemoration,” he said. “I don’t see the need for an official remembrance from the city or anyone else. In six years, is Minneapolis going to pay for something for the people who died in the bridge collapse?

David Hendrickson, 56, a computer software trainer who lives in Manhattan, said he began being somewhat irritated by the attention to the commemoration on the third anniversary. “It seems a little much to me to still be talking about this six years later,” he said. “I understand it’s a sad thing. I understand it’s a tragedy. I’ve had my own share of tragedies — my uncle was killed in a tornado. But you get on. I have the sense that some people are living on their victimhood, which I find a little tiring.” …

Mental health practitioners see a certain value in the growing fatigue.

“It’s a good sign when people don’t need an anniversary commemoration or demarcation,” said Charles R. Figley, the director of the Florida State University Traumatology Institute. “And it’s not disrespectful to those who died.”

Laurie Pearlman, a clinical psychologist in Massachusetts, said, “Our society has a very low tolerance for grief — it’s exhausting and unrelenting, and we don’t want to hear about it.” …

What might happen on Sept. 11 a hundred years from now? “It’s conceivable that it could be virtually forgotten,” said Dr. Bodnar, the history professor. “Does anyone go out on the streets of New York and commemorate the firing on Fort Sumter?”

Meanwhile, the selfsame New York Times has published at least ten articles about the tragic Princess Diana in just the last few days:

Times Topics: Princess of Wales Diana

News about Diana, Princess of Wales, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.

What’s on Tonight

…Blair struggle with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales , in this semibiographical…45 P.M. (Starz Cinema) DIANA: THE WITNESSES IN THE TUNNEL…taken in the tunnel the night Princess Diana was killed to tell the story of…

September 1, 2007 – By KATHRYN SHATTUCK – Arts

Princes Remember Diana as Loving Mother

…LONDON (AP) — Princess Diana should be remembered…criticism from one of Diana’s friends that…attending. To the princess, her close friends…anniversary of the princess’ death. This year…a rock concert on Diana’s birthday, July…

September 1, 2007 – By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS – World

A Memorial for the World’s Princess

…anniversary of the death of Diana, the Princess of Wales , was simple…fevered time after Diana’s death on…more to remember the princess. Flowers covered the…Kensington Palace, where Diana lived, and several hundred…

September 1, 2007 – By SARAH LYALL – World

    Today in History – Sept. 1

    …America. Ten years ago: As Britain continued to mourn the untimely death of Princess Diana, there came word from a source in the Paris prosecutor’s office that Diana’s driver, Henri Paul, was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash…

    September 1, 2007 – By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    EDITORIAL; In the Decade Since

    …Has it been 10 years already since Diana died? So it seems, and the best…calendar. It s the photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales, staring out at us from…perhaps, is one of the ways to tell Diana s story a shimmering wisp of the…

    August 31, 2007 – Opinion

    What’s on Tonight

    …lend their voices. 8 P.M. (WE) DIANA REVEALED Ann Curry is the host of…draws on a controversial videotape of Diana, Princess of Wales , speaking frankly about…respect of the royal family. At 10, Diana: The Night She Died examines the…

    August 31, 2007 – By KATHRYN SHATTUCK – Arts

    After 10 Years, Fascination With Diana Hardly Fades

    …29 Ten years have passed since Diana, Princess of Wales , died and Britain erupted…where she lived, is devoted to Diana: A Princess Remembered. Crowds are still…and having picnics beside the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fountain…

    August 30, 2007 – By SARAH LYALL – World

      What’s on Tonight

      11 P.M. (9) PRINCESS DIANA : THE LEGEND AND LEGACY OF A PRINCESS Joan Collins is host of this 90-minute special…after she left the royal family. In The Spirit of Princess Diana, immediately following, psychics take a look at…

      August 28, 2007 – By KATHRYN SHATTUCK – Arts

      On 10th Anniversary, ‘Dianabilia’ Takes Over

      A DECADE ago, Diana, Princess of Wales, became a powerful princess…the Mystic Stamp Company, with a Princess Diana colorized British penny ; and the…limited edition figurine devoted to Diana, princess of our hearts. It no longer raises…

      August 27, 2007 – By STUART ELLIOTT – Technology

      As well as a special crepe-draped ten page “slide show” tribute:

      Remembering Diana

      Clearly, the New York Times knows what’s important and historical. They are the “newspaper of record,” after all.

      Still, it was a little surprising to hear the attacks on 9/11 described as an “ominous event.”

      And to learn that the firing upon Fort Sumter has been forgotten, and that “few Americans give much thought anymore on Dec. 7 that Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 (the date to live in infamy).”

      But of course since then we have had both Hurricane Katrina and Virginia Tech.

      Not to mention the greatest tragedy in all of history — the death of Princess Diana.

      This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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