Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Observing 9/11 At Duke

Today was more thought provoking than I anticipated. On my way to lunch today, I passed by the rows of flags on Duke's main quad, commemorating those who died six years ago. I thought about how many more flags there should be for the soldiers and Iraqis who have died since then. If all of the deaths were commemorated, then the original set would seem small by comparison.

I chose a shady spot to enjoy my veggie Pauly Dog that just happened to be near the tent of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. I could not have asked for a more interesting view. Of all of the theories that have been proposed so far, it is only the one purported by the Bush Administration that I am certain that I do not believe. It's not as if they exactly have a stellar track-record for honesty, now do they? I rarely underestimate what people will do for greed and the administration has shown very little regard for human life.

I was alarmed at how few people stopped to hear what they had to say. Most didn't even look in their direction as they were being offered a small flier. A couple of students became angry and were offensively rude. If people are so sure of their convictions, then they shouldn't fear being contaminated by an opposing point of view, now should they? As an alum, I feel ashamed that the majority of the students passing by didn't appear to have an open mind and appeared to not question the world around them. Skepticism should exude from every pore of these students. Perhaps they are "waiting on the world to change"? While I applaud the fact that John Mayer promotes distrust of the media in the song, I am dismayed at the message that apathy should be embraced. Today's Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper, had an article about how Duke students have changed in this regard.

After I finished my lunch, I stopped and talked to the group for a bit. They seemed pleased at my interest and at the notion of appearing in my blog. I didn't recognize him out of context at the time, but Dr. Burk, who is reaching for the banner in the photo, gave a fascinating guest lecture on integrative medicine in one of my history courses, eight years ago. The Durham 9/11 Public Response group has regular meetups, so be sure to check out their schedule if you're interested.

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