I'm starting a tradition with today's commentary, by re-running the one from Sept. 11, 2002. That was the week that now-ex-manager Rex Tackett had me start doing commentaries on KTSA. What was said on the first anniversary of 9-11 seems still appropriate on the second.

9-11 isn't about numbers

This anniversary isn't really about some 28-hundred deaths.

We aren't flooding all media with reports and remembrances because of the number of our countrymen and women who died.

If we had annual observances memorializing numbers of deaths, we would have a major one for the 20,000 deaths in the earthquake in India the same year.

If our national solemnity were only about headstone counts, we could have a memorial day once every month for car wreck victims in the United States. Put all the deaths from the Trade Center, Pennsylvania crash and Pentagon together, they don't add up to one month of highway fatalities. So traffic deaths would deserve a much bigger observance than 9-11.

If our national consciousness was merely numbers-inspired, we wouldn't bother to have a news story about 6 people dying, but we did, because it was anthrax in the mail that got them.

If head-count numbers were really at the heart of things, we'd have wall-to-wall news coverage of cancer deaths in America, almost every day. Standups from hospitals, live reports from cancer research facilities, that sort of thing— because the number of victims in the 9-11 tragedy was less than 2-percent of the number of U.S. cancer deaths each year.

No, it isn't numbers: this is about dishonorable treachery.

This is Pearl Harbor stab-'em-in-the-back stuff. Terrorism. The murder of children and mothers and fathers and other noncombatants. No warning, no offer of life spared in exchange for surrender.

Evil, despicable, treacherous murder.

We memorialize our countrymen today not because of how many died, but how they died: senselessly, needlessly, at the hands of fanatics whose religion -- supposedly based on truth and love -- somehow became malignant and transformed into a tool of human hatred.

The 9-11 terrorists are without one molecule of honor.

I'm guessing that their god knows that.

Brad Messer, KTSA commentary.


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