White House Issues Guides on Sept. 11 Observances

The White House has issued detailed guidelines to federal officials on how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at home and abroad.

Comments: 125

  1. It is just about us no matter how the White House wants to spin it.

  2. It's "not just about us"? WHAT? Of course 9/11 is about us, it's all about us. The problem of terrorism is broad and the concern of every civilized person on the planet but 9/11 is abut us, Mr. President.

    In his effort, once again, to be a world president, the President forgets who he serves. Would someone remind him that we, the citizens of the United States of America, come first and that we should be his first concern?

    What is wrong with this guy?

  3. This is a very odd article and something about it makes me very uncomfortable. It seems as a country, after 9/11, if we had focused on making our country strong on many levels, a country that prospered, took good care of ALL of its people, held a high moral ground regarding all humanity, including the people here, we would not be so worried about future attacks. It's kind of like a marriage - a marriage breaks up from within, not from without. Instead, we keep hearing the word "fear - there could be more to come, be afraid of life and the future, be afraid of the the people out there or around you, while things weaken and fall apart in our own country. Fear itself is a deadly weapon. I personally will remember 9/11 as a terribly sad day for all the people who lost love ones, for those who died not understanding what was happening or why. I will also ponder why our country has behaved so badly in the aftermath, starting useless wars and decimating the lives of many who had nothing to do with 9/11. creating so many enemies around the world, so many people in poverty in our own country that was once rich and a dream come true for many. In a sense, those who perpetrated those attacks won - what followed the attacks, not the attacks themselves, have decimated our country.

  4. set guidelines for the anniversary of the event.
    we may memorialize the victims of the terrorist attacks of 9-11 with speeches, ceremonies, monuments and museums.
    the only way to truly honor them is to track down and kill or capture
    those who wish to do further harm to us who they consider infidels.
    never forget who attacked us.
    never give up the fight.

  5. The phrase, "arrogant control freak", is what comes to mind when Obama show his true self through his actions.
    I guess this is what his administration calls a "jobs" program, using goverment power to control people.

  6. Shouldn't "A forward looking narrative," include the desire of peace?

  7. How about a moment of silence and a silent prayer?
    Guidlines on how to "commemorate" a tragedy? Is he serious?
    Next thing he'll be asking i sto forgive Japan for Pearl Harbor.
    No one wants to hear more overdrawn speeches from a bloated politician. I will be commemorating in private, no tv cameras to capture the moment thank you, enough is enough.

  8. This is how propaganda is accomplished...central planners decide how people should feel, how they should expresses themselves, how they should behave according to the White House plan. We used to be skeptical and critical of governments prescribing such things, but as the citizenry becomes less educated, more easily manipulated, and more docile, there's hardly a peep.

  9. I commemorate 911 every time I have to remove my shoes and get a full body scan at the airport and I will never forget.

  10. On this anniversary lets agree to either bring the troops home immediately or dramatically escalate the war to include measures used in the last war where nothing was off the table in terms of war, World War II.

    The US military can not take another decade of half measures to make politicians feel good.

    World War II lasted 5 years, half of the time we have hindered our military in this fighting with one hand behind our back set of rules.

    Rules imposed by politicians whose own children will never fight at the front lines and whom they themselves always had a reason why they could not serve their country in the ranks.

  11. I would have much more to be allowed to comment on the Iraqis playing chess on their advise to the Lybians in their struggle for government. I found their remarks about listening to the people interesting. Perhaps they should come to the US to see how the government seems incapable in the US as well.

  12. What part of guidelines to "federal officials" do you not understand? Unless you are a federal official, as clearly stated, the GUIDELINE does not apply to you! It is reasonble for the President to put out policies to the employees who work for him.
    I thought NY Times readers were more intelligent than this.

  13. Just another case of a government hell-bent on mind control.

  14. I moved from the Upper West Side to a small coastal city in SC. Two years ago I went to a 9/11 event.

    Truly it was a "salute to Todd Beamer and oh yes some firemen died."

    The event was a warm-up for the Tea Party rallies the next day. Our Congressman couldn't come as he was on DC on urgent business (they either said or implied defeating health insurance)

    I don't think he was working as he was a major presence at the tea party rallies.

    As a New Yorker I was sickened by this. I was uncomfortable with the overtly religious nature of the event and there's only one religion here that counts--Christian.

    As a Jew I will never pray to Jesus. Nor do I think that public events should include non-ecumenical prayers.

    The one fireman who spoke retired almost two decades ago. He spoke of people picketing firemen's funerals implying and inferring that "liberals" did the picketing. Never once did he say it was Westboro Church.

    it was a great rally if you're a Christian Tea Party member but for all the rest of us...I went home and cried. Not for 9/11 but because I couldn't believe I lived in a place that used 9/11 for its own politicizing.

    People should be criticizing cities and towns that do that, not our president.

    I welcome President Obama issuing guidelines as 9/11 has been made a mockery of by too many people who weren't in NY, DC or relatives of people on the planes, that day and didn't fear for relative and friends lives.

    9/11 changed my life in ways I could never imagine when it was happening. It will always be a sacred and sad day to me. But it will never be a homage to The Tea Party and Christians.

  15. ......the guidelines say, officials are to make the point that “Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant.”

    Gee - let's hope Obama didn't jump the gun on this....will this be his 'Mission Accomplished'?

  16. Just more Gov propaganda, the Gov took 9/11 and made to 1000x worse by using it as a excuse to control its own people and steal as much as posible too!

  17. For years I've been asking the government to make a special formal memorial holiday of September 11. This is the perfect date to do just that.

  18. Why after 10 years are we still fighting the War on Terror. It has turned into the War on Drugs. Profitable and unending. We created a climate where somebody will get even with us notwithstanding 9/11. This was predicted by the few critics of the Bush policies. Those policies seconded by Obama are now part of our foreign policy which is the only reason for the guidelines. Also the only reason we have any allies is because they are dependent on our foreign aid and trade.

  19. woodbury ct, You must misunderstand obama's subtext over this remembrance.Cos obama want to tell the world that terrorism is not the enemy of US but the whole world as well.Obama want to unite the citizens of not only western countries but the rest of countries in the world to fight against the terrorism which are spreading many of contries and regions.

  20. The administration and other politicians have decided, in their infinite stupidity, that the First Responders (I capitalize those words because they deserve it) will not be invited to the service at the Twin Towers. It is supposed to be, according to the powers-that-be, for "family members who have lost loved ones" only.

    BUT - who will be front and center? You guessed it - the POLITICIANS! This is adding insult to injury - especially since investigating the First Responders for terrorist ties before they could get any help for medical problems.

    Will I watch any of the memorials or services? No - a time of silence, a time of reflection, a time of mourning for those who lost their lives and a time of thanks for those First Responders who worked so hard for so long to save so many.

  21. I think that ultimately each individual, even at government agencies, will find their own way to commemorate this moment. For everyone of us who were here in downtown New York, watching the towers from street corners, it is a powerfully personal memory that won't easily fit into guidelines.

    But I will say that I strongly disagree with the comments above criticizing Obama for trying to maintain an international perspective on this. One of the gravest errors that Bush made was to tell us that they hate us for our freedoms which, while it flattered us as a nation, closed off our minds to understanding how terrorism really works and what Al Qaeda was attempting to achieve by attacking us. The whole purpose of terrorism is to force blind vengeance and overreaction -- this was true in Algeria in the 1950s, in Israel and Palestine, on 9/11, and later in Iraq with the blowing up of the Shi'a mosque leading to all-out sectarian war. Bush didn't mean to, but with his rush to war and 'they only understand the language of power' thinking he did Al Qaeda's bidding.

    I write more about this here:

    http://seanrocha.com/2011/08/30/ten-years-gone/

  22. On the one hand the article states:

    “As the White House sharpens its messages for the commemorations, officials say they have also stepped up efforts to spot signs of foreign or domestic terrorist plots timed around the anniversary. So far, they said, they had not detected any specific plots or an increase in threats.”

    On the other hand it states:

    “One significant new theme is in both sets of documents: Government officials are to warn that Americans must be prepared for another attack — and must, in response, be resilient in recovering from the loss.”

    Though they claim that they haven’t detected any specific plots, it’s obvious, even to them, that the anniversary of 9/11 is prime time for Qaeda, and any one of the other 20 Islamic terror organizations, to make a ‘statement’. The most worrisome aspect of it all is that it may occur literally, anywhere across the globe, including within our borders, to include Canada.

    The second quote cited is saying in essence, that Americans in the foreign service, and that Americans in general should be prepared for loss of life, and in response to that loss of life, to be resilient regarding it.

    In other words, get over it and move along. Nothing new to see here. Same old same old.

    Note: On CSPAN yesterday, it was mentioned that SA-7s (Russian hand-held surface to air anti-aircraft missiles) looted by Libyan rebels from Qaddafis arsenals, and feared by many to end up in the hands of Qaeda et al because they can take down commercial aircraft easily… “Andrew J. Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, (who) described the unsecured missiles in Libya as “one of the things that keep me up at night.” … are showing up in Somalia, Mauritania, and Mali. Other nations and other ‘organizations’ are sure to follow.

    US foreign service diplomats et al, and their collective families, are most certainly on high alert. That’s the present and future reality. And that’s also a shame.

  23. Nothing wrong in setting guidelines for the event.
    If it were a corporation instructing its employees on contacts with media and corporate PR (and corporations do that), these commenters would probably have no problem with that. But since it's Obama....
    How tightly did Bush control his administration's message?

    President Obama might want to convey some humility on the occasion --
    but the "it's all about me" crowd will use the moment to try to score political points against him.

    Ahh, that's what's so great about free speech --
    how else can you see people for what they are, if they don't show you themselves with their own mouth.

  24. DEMAND that room be made for the first responders. Why is it that there's always room for the big shots but not for the people who matter the most?

  25. More people die from slipping and falling than from terrorists. The US is using fear to justify running roughshod across the globe and infringing on its own citizens' civil rights.

  26. To all the critics: come up with a better plan that addresses our loss, other nations' losses over the last ten years and an acknowledgement that even as we mourn we must stay vigilant.

    Then wait to see how officials actually do with all this, then judge it.

    Mostly, these guides are about the public face of those in government, which is a tiny part of our remembrance.

    The real place for our memory, our honoring our fallen fellow Americans and those of all the other countries, is in our hearts and souls. And in each act of respect and thanks and kindness we can show our fellow humans at this time and all times.

    That is the true way to fight terror and its roots.

  27. When 9/11 happened 10 yrs ago, I said to those around me here we go another Vietnam, our Government has tied our hands in every conflict since WWII. I agree with Retired combat vet. let our troops do their jobs both here and abroad, let them do what they are trained to do. Mr. President quit tying our armed forces hands.

  28. Jim is right. There's nothing sinister about the White House openly issuing talking points to its own officials.
    Torture is sinister. The fate of honorable whistle-blowers is sinister. The dismantling of the safety net here and the accumulation of ever-increasing power by monied interests at the expense of the diminishing middle class, and the utter neglect of the poor - that's sinister.

  29. Why are there not going to be leaders from religious denominations?
    Also to include a moment of silence for prayer.

  30. It's been 10 years. I was in NY on that day. I saw people jumping from those buildings with my own eyes. I feared for the life of family members who worked in that area and had to wait what felt like an infinite number of hours before I saw them with my own eyes (still covered in soot and dust) and knew they were alive.

    But it's been 10 years. This country must move on. This isn't healthy.

  31. "After weeks of internal debate,..."

    No jobs, three wars but the weeks of debate were wasted on how to make The Obama Message come through loud and vague like always. I didn't think you could get worse than Bush but Pres. Obama is trying hard to get there.

  32. Perhaps the time and effort devoted to staging these photo-ops would be better spent developing a jobs plan. Just sayin'.

  33. Although I think Rick Perry and others go bit too far when they want to get rid of departments like Education, Environment - I can't help but think we have a bit too big government when several top officials from various departments are huddling together for days (my guess is also thousands of emails and drafts created and exchanged and discussed over several meetings) to come up with guidelines on how to commemorate Sept 11. It is happenings like this which fuel the other extreme of cutting the govt to bare bones.

  34. Of course the words Muslim, Islam or Islamofacism are not mentioned, we musn't upset the relatives back home. At least we didn's see the phrase: 'the tragedy of 9/11' Did we ever say the 'tragedy of Pearl Harbor'? No, we called it what it was, an attack. Are we permitted to be just a little bit angry? We have no problem denouncing facism 65 years after the death of Hitler, but the monstrous ideology that led to 9/11 may not even be mentioned.

  35. "thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since."

    Where do the American citizens fit into this scheme?

    I guess if the citizenry had not demanded its civil liberties then there would have been no 9/11.

  36. It is not just about us. We are just one country among many countries on this
    planet. It's a global world, we are world citizens whether we want to admit it or not. Other countries and other Peoples have been attacked and killed. Tomorrow or next week it could be us or them or both. I would pay the long price, but if i wanted to, late tonight, i could be on my way to Europe or any other country. If going to Europe along about 9pm or so, our time, i would begin to see glimmers of our sun rising and in no time at all, would be sitting down for breakfast in Germany or any other country close by. It could be sort of a restaurant cafe place and while eating the place could be bombed. If i flew just to New York, the same could happen. We are all in this together.

  37. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.
    ################################

    Did they really need a talking points memo to tell them this?

  38. The W.H. 'planning guide' should be ignored or trashed. The Obama's ignorance is obvious since they do not realize that the 9-11 victims represented the entire world in nationalities, religion, race, economics and even sexual orientation. The 'blame America first' ideology underlines this administration and this 'guide'.

  39. How about stopping this propaganda and give back the rights to the very people.
    The 11th September should not continue to be an excuse to rob the more and more freedom and build up more and more futile agencies who's only reason to exist is to make life more difficult to everybody and more proficous to some lobbies.

    Less pomp and more silent feelings that is what is needed: stop this hurra patriotism, which reminds of 1933 Germany!

  40. Sorry but it is about the victims that day - the heck with anyone else.

  41. I do not require instructions from my government on how to remember that hideous day.

  42. May we use the anniversary to also remember the humanity that was in all of us around the world those days and weeks following 9/11. The kindness and respect that people gave to one another without hesitation -- as if we're all in this big crazy world together -- is something we should be trying to incorporate into our lives daily, on a personal level, as well as a national and global level. I'd rather see people hold on to that, than fear.

  43. Though I too dislike the "corporatization" in Obama's gesture, I think the 10th anniversary is an obvious time to put some kind of fence around the attention-grabbing & politicizing of the commemorative events. Not to do so would also be seen as a failure of vision. So, Obama can't win this one.

    Americans have a profound inability to mourn; we are too proud & stubborn to call something a tragedy and weep openly over it, so the search for "closure" —which is really the desire for someone else to explain things or make things right for us—never ends.

  44. No, it's not just about us, and I'm sure the people of Afghanistan and Iraq would agree considering how 9/11 ultimately affected them.

  45. This makes me uncomfortable because living in NYC, I do feel it's about me. Yes the world is going nuts right now, and we need those Middle Eastern countries in the midst of civil war not to judge us as the enemy, but it should be about remembers our heroes and the victims--not about politics and how the Republicans turned this into the most expensive war with more endless deaths by going into Iraq.

  46. Yeah I feel sorry for those who were directly affected, but who doesn't dread the mountain of weepy platitudes we're about to be subjected to, by every last politician who will feel obligated to hog in on the sentiment. By the way, congratulations, Osama, you won. What a dreary and awful place this country has descended to, in the ten years since. All war all the time, the financial oligarchy literally screwing everyone else for their own obscene wealthy pleasures. The masses in a fog of stupidity. Rah rah 911!

  47. Excuse me, the Bush White House didn't do this?

    Every day for eight years they did this.

  48. Another round of flag waving, commemoration of the fallen, etc., propped up by the media with montages and sad, but defiantly hopeful, music.

    Of course, a call to stay frightened of terrorists from outside and now within.

    This is a propaganda call at a time when the government has lost credibility and leadership has been exposed as representing only the financial aristocracy. Responses to the financial crisis, BP spill, Katrina, and the militaristic foreign policy and wars underscore the descent. The talk about foreign threats thinly veils the real threat, underscored by the rise of a huge surveillance industry aimed at the US public. The threat of democratic decline and an empire out of control.

  49. Are these comments serious? Are you people saying that you don't think the President of the U.S. has a right to direct officials in federal agencies and the diplomatic corps regarding a major upcoming national anniversary?

    This is part of his job, or at least well within the parameters of his job. I did not get the sense that these guidelines are really intended for public consumption, and they won't impact you unless you attend some sort of event that's tied to a federal agency.

    Let's see: what else do we have on the docket to complain about this week? Here my #1 topic: Most Americans = a bunch a whining, discontented pre-teens.

  50. This moment - this day is American. I really don't care what Obama wants as far as "Service and Remembrance". This is for each of us - in our own uniquely American way.

    Frankly, this isn't political - and I don't want Obama involved in 9/11 for me and my family. It's about those we lost.

  51. #25 - do you have some statistics to back up your completely stupid claim?
    "is not ‘just about us," - really? Who else was ATTACKED on 9/11?

  52. Ok, two sets of talking points. One set for each side of Obama'a mouth.

  53. This sounds like Orwell's 1984 -- thought control. Creepy. I'm more than ready for an election that will get rid of these people.

  54. Isnt't the goal to ensure that the ceremonies are dignified and respectful of the dead, not to glorify America? The attacks were terrible, horrific events that are seared into our memories and will never be forgotten. The attacks on the US embassies in Africa were just as devastating. It is not a time to be boastful or political. It is a time to honour the dead and their families and the first responders who are still trying to cope with the effects of that day.

  55. It really IS about us. Yes, people of all national and ethnic backgrounds were killed on 9/11, but they had one thing in common: they were citizens of the United States. And of course, no prayers, no ruminations about a higher power or anything of the sort. Just more thought control from Comrad Obama. A radical islamist group comprised of devotees to a 12th century prophet killed 3000 Americans on that day. That is what we should remember, whether the panderer-in-chief believes/agrees with it or not.

    Thank God (oooh, sorry, didn't mean to offend anyone)that 2012 is next year

  56. Look Obama, hate the country that made you all you like. Apologize for our "arrogance", refer to half of the nation as "enemies" and bow down and worship the world's dictators. We get it already. In the area of your attitude toward America you have in fact made yourself "perfectly clear".

    But how about simply skipping out on all the 911 commemorations if your whole reason for being involved will be to diminish the pain THIS country still suffers from in some "global community organizer" show of irrational PC tolerance?

  57. this sounds like a "make work" program in a bloated government bureaucracy... what a waste of paper

  58. The line that got me was "HIS country". Excuse me, I thought it was OUR country.

  59. This is downright creepy. Narcissism is first and foremost about control. We have a dramatically narcissistic president and federal government. People can spin with words like "brilliant" and "cerebral"
    all they like, the truth is, we've got a huge problem in this whitehouse.

  60. What arrogant jerk thinks he has the right to control how anyone commemorates or talks about that terrible day? More outrageousness from the Department of Let Us Do Your Thinking For You, a.k.a. the White House.

  61. Quoting the lead paragraph, "Al Qaeda and other extremist groups have since carried out attacks elsewhere in the world, from Mumbai to Manila." While the alliteration is nice, please specify what attacks have been carried out in Manila and by what group(s)?

  62. This reeks of cold war era Russia.

  63. No, it's not all about us. It's all about them (the terrorists), and America's neurotic obsession.

    I'm sorry, but the one thing I want to hear from any commemoration at all is, "it's 10 years, disband this sick obsessive cult, move on." (Yes, I was in NYC that day.) The whole thing reminds me of the professional veterans who hang out at the VFW or Legion post to reminisce endlessly about the Big One. It's the only time their lives were ever part of something bigger and more important, and they cling to it.

    As long as you keep picking at this scab, the terrorists win. Move on.

    And let the flaming begin!

  64. Since 9/11, American terrorists have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. What might be the response to these acts?

  65. Language control=thought control, or *who controls my language controls my world.* From the seat of power, the Obama administration, people are told that TEA party groups and others who dare speak truth to power are *jihadists* and *terrorists.*

  66. Do any of the loyal progressives reading this article know how much money the WH spent to have bureaucrats write these detailed guidelines? Do they care?

  67. The right wing whines constantly that Mr. Obama does not provide enough leadership but when he does provide guidance to his adminstration on how to appropriately observe the anniversary of 9/11 they complain even more loudly. Do we need any more proof that for these people nothing the President does will every be right?

  68. If we need a set of national guidelines on how to celebrate ANYTHING, the terrorists did, indeed, win.

  69. The best way of commemorating 911 is to explain why the US Air Force could not protect the Pentagon in spite of a 51 minutes warning, why the Pentagone was not protected by a soil-air radar-guided missile system, or even by a camera system able to picture what was going on. Can you imagine, one Pentagon and no cameras, while I have three cameras in my parking and probably ten in my supermarket.
    Or also why the CIA did not communicate to FBI the names of the islamists they knew in the US.
    Or why the CIA did not twart the 1993 NY WTC bombing while they had knowledge of it (see NYT 1993 article by searching "Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast")
    And so on. You know.

  70. Hope, confidence and trust were attacked that day.

    What have I done, each day since, and what will I do, tomorrow, demonstrating hope, confidence and trust?

    Walk to your local fire house, police station, school or library on this Sunday, September 11. Stand, silent, for ten minutes in reflection, or explain to a child why we support and honor these places, these people, each day.

    I will watch for a full moon rising that evening. If the sky is clear, I will look with awe and wonder at the moon and think how light from the sun illuminates the night and the same face has turned, again, toward me.

  71. "Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001"
    Indeed that is the difference with the Muslim societies. They would insist that officials memorize those that died - all 3000 of them. East is East and West is West and the Twain shall never meet.

  72. If only we had such thoughtful leadership in 2001, many if not most of our current problems would be much less severe, from homeland security to our economic woes. Knee jerk reactions beget backlash. We must look forward to fixing our future.

  73. On the afternoon of 9/11/01, and for a few days after, we had the sympathy and empathy of the world on our side. Shortly thereafter, it was squandered away, and one of the chief architects of the squandering is now running around the county plugging his unapologetic book. Ironic. And sad.

  74. Once again, Obama manages to strike just the wrong, tone defeat note. 9/11 is about a terrorist attack on the United States and the killing of over 3,000 Americans. It's not about the Al Qaeda attacks in London, Madrid or Bombay, dreadful as those attacks were.

  75. Let's not forget the victims.... 3000 people and one Constitution.

    RIP.

  76. I remember watching the towers collapse on 9/11. The horror was palpable. I also remember in the days following the growing sense of dread at just how our nation would react. Over the following decade we have allowed fear and the politicization of the 9/11 attacks to be used to propagate the unnecessary invasion of Iraq, the use of torture and the resulting general decline of our standing abroad. The worst result is the least mentioned or considered. How do we reconcile the estimated 100,000 to 1.2 million of Iraqis killed as the result of our attack on their country? I hope that as we put so much effort towards memorializing 9/11 that we consider the ensuing mayhem that continues to be a direct result of our misguided reaction to those attacks.

    Joseph DeLappe
    http://www.iraqimemorial.org

  77. Doesn't the White House have more important matters to attend to?

  78. This is disgusting. We're basically living in the old Soviet Union only now its called the United States.

  79. Americans don't want White House dictated guidelines as to how they should commemorate the more than 3000 fellow citizens who were murdered on 9/11. And they don't need their president telling them what they should say or how they should act in remembering that day. Obama is so caught up in political correctness that he will do and say anything to avoid confronting Islamic extremism. He better change his tune, or he will alienate even the few remaining liberals who still support him.

  80. We wouldn't need memos sent around the country and abroad if certain political elements didn't keep using 9/11 for their own agendas. I'm certain that this is an effort by the White House to get everybody on the same apolitical/non-religious page. Which I welcome.

    I know we said "Never Forget", but after this anniversary could we at least ease off a little? How can they rest in peace if we wont give them any?

  81. Once again, politics is sticking its ugly head into what should be a somber day of remembrance for AMERICANS. What "interal debate?" What "guidelines?" It's ridiculous that the U.S. government has to spell out for its citizens what we should be doing such as volunteering and respecting our emergency workers and intelligence officials. AMERICANS should not have to be asked to demonstrate unity or a high level of service. While 9/11 brought AMERICA'S citizens together, response to tragedy is a very private and individual state of mind. We should know what our obligations are as citizens on a daily basis, but we should not be told how to feel or what to think.

  82. More fear-mongering and hyping of a state of fear by our government. The 9/11 victimology in this country is off the charts. Millions of people around the world suffer far more from terrorism every day than this country ever has. Yet people here are willing to hand over their rights – and their human dignity – bit by bit, all for the illusion of security. “The Terrorists! The Terrorists Are Everywhere!"

    We are only enriching the obscenely profitable "security" industry, while our civil liberties are being shredded right before our eyes. Al Qaeda hasn't had to terrorize us; we've done it ourselves.

  83. There is so much sadness surrounding the date September 11. It is still a hard day, and 10 years has not eased the wound, the pain, the memories of that day (not for me, anyway). Please--no more acrimony, criticism, political snarking. Mistakes are made, feelings are hurt. We are all human: frail and imperfect.

    Take the day to your heart in whatever way feels right to you.

  84. I don't hear the Tea Party folks screaming about how the government is practicing mind control when its guidelines on flying flags at half mast are followed. Or when schoolchildren pledge allegiance. Or when military coffins are draped with the flag. They love those guidelines (most of them even favor a federal law against flag desecration!). Of course, Obama didn't propose those.

  85. Gee Mr. President, I guess you know better how we should feel about 9/11. Let's all come together around your sensabilities.
    YOU ARE THERE TO SERVE THE NATION, NOT FOR THE NATION TO SERVE YOU. Arrogant fool, actually not a fool, that's the scary part.

  86. Those of us who were here that day, who feared for family and friends working downtown, who lived through hours of shock and sorrow, will find our own ways to honor the dead on the anniversary of that most grievous day we will never forget. Of course life moves forward; so much has happened in the world and in our individual lives over these ten years since Sept. 11, 2001.

    I don't care what the politicians do on that day, as long as they stay out of the way, not putting themselves front and center. This isn't about any of them. Know they'll do what they, not the people, want. But just wish they would do it in their own space, away from NYC, with some effort at minimizing their exploitation of this painful moment in our history.

  87. Former president Bush was incapable of staying on script, this president seems incapable of doing anything without it.

  88. Islamism is a plague on the world that has killed 10’s of thousands and maimed 100’s of thousands since 911 – mostly in Muslim countries. So in that sense, yes, it isn’t just about us. But 911 is by definition just about us and should be seen as such. Plenty of time the rest of the year to remind the world of all the other death and destruction caused in the name of and by Muslims.

  89. It is a very sad day in this country that this man in the whitehouse has anything to do with this memorial. He began his presidency with a fly over NY because he wanted to get a thrill out of the scare to New Yorkers. Yep, he's the guy that belongs there for the memorial.

  90. To the people of our nation we need to clearly say in this time of Remembrance that the World Trade Center was just that, a Center of The World in out midst, and filled with people who came to America for its decency, morality, fairness and opportunity. That broad spectrum of people is who the mindless terror butchered that day, and continues around the world to victimize. The 9-11 Remembrance needs to say that they focus their attacks on The United States because here each may worship God as they see fit without threat, without godless intimidation and brutality. Here each may speak their mind, even when they believe we are wrong. Ask the Egyptians, The Libyians, the Syrians how important that is.

    This is a special moment, a time to be one with the oppressed," the poor, the huddles masses yearning to breathe free ", and The President serves us well in helping define and shape the message of this day, so that opportunity to join with the victims of all terror is not missed.
    May God in His unfathomable mercy help us to to spread His peace, true peace to all the world and end at last the human propensity for war and evil.

  91. One sentence segment says all we need to know about the authors' perspective: "on a day when the world’s attention will be focused on President Obama, his leadership team and his nation." His nation?! Not OUR nation? Lawdy, lawdy old gray lady!

  92. Doesn't it seem everyday that the Obama administration is becoming more and more Orwellian? Is this not a page out of 1984?

  93. On the Job description for the President the number one point should be to reassure the country and create a positive environment. 2. Lead not follow. You have failed in both President Obama. The 9/11 terrorist act stands on its own.

  94. Jim from Albany says federal officials work for the President. I learned something today: I used to think they, uh, worked for the folks who are paying their salaries not to mention benefits, and pensions.

  95. “We will also draw on the spirit of unity that prevailed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.” Mr. Obama should get, and read, this directive. Perhaps then he will stop promoting dis-unity and divisiveness among American citizens.

  96. It seems like it would have been more efficient for the NY Times to upload the documents so we can pore over them in their entirety. Information that would compromise the anonymity of sources could be redacted, of course, but these are specifically the kinds of documents that would be nice to see in their entirety so we can get the context around each excerpt.

  97. And Denver "commemorates" the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with a Beach Boys concert. I wish I could hide my sarcasm and disgust with that. And platitudes from politicians will issue forth across the land, while the real heroes and the murdered thousands become footnotes relegated to the sidelines. But it's OK, the politicians get to use the day for their own ends.

  98. Just a thought. Why do we need an official date of commemoration? Surely there have been other tragedies that has befallen our country. The constant need to grieve in public is obscene to say the least. The red light goes on and the tears flow. Every year for the past 10 years every television station covered the memorial, a bit much don't you think?
    Yes we'll all remember the significance of September 11 but do we need to have it televised year after year? The teddy bears and canldes left by the scene of any tragedy, this country has become a living mausoleum. Why do we have to have other peoples lives and tragedies broadcast ad nauseum, why the need for special programming leading up to the day? Oh that's right they have a product to sell. As someone stated earlier it's unhealthy and no way for a country to heal.

    For those who lost loved ones spend the day with family, hug those that are with you now, and always tell them that you love them. No need to do that in public is there?

  99. “is not ‘just about us,”? Please Mr. Obama… speeches about multipolarity universal thinking for all the diverse people of the planet do not reach very far here particularly when the economy/jobless of our country is falling bottom rocks. Mr. President, here in the US is all about us especially when almost 3 thousands of us, Americans died because of the cowardly attack the fateful day of 9/11.

  100. I would say.... Say a prayer.... but Bloomberg banned prayers.
    I think I will call the White House and tell them how I feel about their narrative.

  101. I know lots of folks who are willing to support President Obama despite serious misgivings, myself included. This is nothing short of outrageous, gobsmacking, crowd-control propaganda.

  102. Al Qaeda have come a long way from 9/11, just finished leading the effort in overthrowing Gaddafi with help from the CIA and US air support.

    Might be more appropriate for Americans to scratch their heads and do some thinking rather than remembering.

  103. Where did Obama come up with a day to volunteer on 9/11? Volunteer to do what--volunteer to clean up the highways?-volunteer to campaign for him? This is a day to remember that we are no longer a country protected by oceans. We thought no one would ever attack the US. Well Pearl Harbor and 9/11 proved that is not the case.
    It is crazy that the First Responders have not been invited to be front and center. The people who died in the Twin Towers were innocent victims who died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The First Responders chose to run into the Towers to save lives. The people in the towers had no idea they were about to die. The First Responders knew they could likely die and still chose to put themselves in harms way.
    What is wrong with Obama? Who is making these decisions? I hope not our President. I hope he knows better. I hope it is some lower level staff member who is 20 years old and doesn't remember the devastation of 9/11.
    Why can't Obama stand up for our country? Why must he always have veiled and not so veiled apologies for the US being a great country made up of incredible people who do more for foreign countries that any other government in the world.
    We spend billions and billions of dollars helping other countries. Why does Obama act like we are the cause for all the bad things that happen around the world? We are a generous country with generous tax payers who willingly send money to help those less fortunate. Surely he believes that we do far more good in the world than anything bad.
    War is awful, but it is even worse when you don't know who your enemies are. Our enemy can be Hamas or it can be a home grown terrorist who guns down innocent people at Fort Hood. Another situation where Obama chose to deny that was an act of terror. Obama has shown on many occassions he is not willing to stand up and say he loves this country and he is proud of who we are.

  104. The first guideline is to accept the official version of events, which thousands of architects, engineers, and other scientists have shown to be a lie.

  105. I was not around in 1951 to know what the United States did on the 10th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. By that time, American fought WW II, was dealing with the Cold War and was dealing with another scare; Communism.

    But, it seems to me, that the politicians are going out of their way to make the 9/11 attacks be a defining point of this country. Not the Civil War, War of 1812, Revolutionary War, WW I, WW II, Korea War, Vietnam War or the Gulf War. No, 9/11 is the most important and defining moment in American history. Wrong. And, like the "Red Scare" of the post WW II era, they are now using 9/11 as a new variant, but instead of a philosophy (Communism) they are encouraging fear of a religion (Islam) and fear of a race (Arab and Persian mostly).

    What is happening is that the 3000 people who died are that day are being used as political pawns for the ends of politicians. That is, The "War on Terror". The fact they keep saying that Al Quaida will attack at any time. We need extra security. Being vigilant. Look for suspicious activity. Watch your neighbors and turn them in. Be probed at the airport. Ease drop on phone calls, e-mails and internet communications. Report anyone who takes out large sums of money from a bank. Report anyone who buys a one-way plane ticket. Et. Al. This is what you expect in a China, not in the United States or any other so called free democracy/republic.

    September 11, should be a day of remembrance, like Memorial Day, VE Day, VJ Day, Veteran's Day, et. al. A time to pause and reflect. Not a political show, nor a show promoting a specific religion or attacking another religion. Nor it is a time to say that this country will use all its resources to destroy Al Quaida. And certainly not a time to promote Homeland Security. There is another time, and place, for that. And certainly should not be part of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

  106. What kind of government and what kind of leadership ( dictator ) hands out a prescribed sheet of talking points (propaganda)in a matter like this?
    Why hasn't the media pursued Obama's marxist positions, statements, and background? After all, he has been President for almost 3 years now and they are still disguising him. As a muslim sympathizer and Rev Wright disciple, he believes that 9/11 was our chickens coming home to roost. I agree with the Czechs who said that the real problem isn't so much Obama as the idiots that voted for him.

  107. This is NOT! about other countries. This is about 9/11 here in the UNITED STATES. Having served in new York as a police officer with the police and fireman of New York, it is troubling to hear about other countries. This is the United States, and we need to remember that. We were together then and we need to be now. I read this from our president or whoever and I did not even see a mention of firefighters. This guy doesn't even know how to say Corpsman (Corpse man) We need help in this country. It won't come from other countries. God help us!!!!!

  108. This orchestration of message and tone sounds too much like Mr. Obama wants to showcase himself to the world via politically correct commemorations. It also smacks of Mr. Obama's limited perception of this country.

  109. Shakspeare wrote: a rose by any other name would it not smell as sweet. Does this White House really believe Al Quida's influnce is disminished.

    If this day of rememberance is not about the 911 attack on America why hold not hold it on 3/17 or 7/26.

  110. An attack by foreign terrorists on the United States of America 'is not just about us'? So Obama wants to turn the other cheek to his Muslim friends? If America is so shallow as to forget what happened on 9/11/2001 and what it represented, then there is no hope for this nation's future. We have enemies who mean us and our society harm and we should never forget it. What still amazes me is that those who could have and should have prevented the destruction in 2001 have never been brought to task for their failures.

  111. It looks to me that Obama is playing kissie-kissie with the cashews in the nut-house by pre-emptying the likes of Perry, Bachmann and that crowd who use any event to sell Jesus. With the Jews I object to the baloney that the USA ever was or ever will be a christian nor judeo-christian nation. Why? Because we could NEVER begin to get the money changers outta the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branches of the government.

  112. SOON ANOTHER STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH BY OBAMA

    We last year heard more insensitivity to the needs of the American people. No one questions the president's toughness, just his priorities and competence to lead, we are not playing King of the Hill. People need jobs more than his ill-conceived liberal programs which are simply a tool for diverting attention from the suffering of millions lacking work or underemployed. In 2012 the American voter will speak through action he and his sycophants will understand. He obviously listens to few so his administration will be ultimately judged by many. I choose not to listen to the speech predicated on this principle, since he refuses to consider the tragic realities of the unemployed and hurting families of the nation I will not listen to his meaningless rhetoric promising jobs and providing nothing.

    One must now conclude that the President will continue to talk about jobs, including rhetoric on cap and trade, health care reform, climate, gay pride, while the economy continues to slide toward the brink. One thinks after viewing his performance in office to date there is little bi-partisanship in his mind. Perhaps we are dealing with an administration that is more analogous to Nero than Hoover, certainly not Truman.

    Are we better off than we were three years ago? Not really. The change we voted for was obviously the downhill variety. Our toughness as Americans will be demonstrated just by surviving these ill-conceived policies that are reducing the greatest nation on earth to a whimper instead of a roar. NEEDED A NEW PRESIDENT WHO TRULY CARES FOR ALL AMERICANS. THERE MUST BE SOMEONE OUT THERE!

    Dr. Alan Phillips
    Bloomington, IL

  113. Please check your 6th grade civics lesson. State, municipal and local workers DO NOT work for the President of the US. Neither do State Governors.

  114. I'm tired of the anti-Obama whiners and complainers. No one is having their free speech rights curbed here. Nowhere did I read that a moment of silence could not be observed, nowhere was it suggested that any specific group of Americans be barred from observances, nowhere was an agenda for commemoration set out to be followed in lock-step by all officials.

    What is offensive about suggesting that federal government officials maintain a little dignity? I sincerely hope that on a federal level, the day is one of contemplation and commemoration. I suspect Mayor Bloomberg is striving for the same balance and dignity in NYC and similar guidelines were probably communicated to city departments, as well.

    After all, this isn't a time for political rallies or fundamentalist hate-fests. I have no doubt some idiot somewhere will use the occasion to stir up hate and fear in an obscene play for media attention. Probably many idiots, actually, and we know who they are.

  115. “Resilience takes many forms, including the dedication and courage to move forward,” Move forward-that's exactly what Obama said when referring to what would follow after it became overtly evident that the Bush administration was involved in torture, and then when referring to the economic crash after Wall Street and the banks brought us all down . It seems like the president has different concepts of "moving forward" and "resilience" than the rest of us. The former used to support American elite criminals to avoid personal accountability for their actions. The latter to encourage American citizens to become American idiots and go along with the madness without protesting, or in other words to "remain united". What a disgusting game of words. At the same time, we feel pity for the Chinese who are being told what to think, say and feel. Any resemblance???

  116. Only about the United States and the souls we lost that day. That's it.

  117. Prez Zero needs for once to keep his large nose out of things that are not his choosing. He does not need to change everyones diapers or exersize anymore control on the people. One and out Prez Zero

  118. I hope this is the last commemoration of 9/11. From now on, people should remember who and what they want privately. These large shows are really grandstanding for politicians and for the press to have a ratings competition. As someone who worked across the street from 1994 through 2009 I have seen and read all I need to and have moved on. I wish the rest of the politicians would stop using this event for their own purposes. Those who lost loved one can mourn without the fanfare, I am sure.

  119. The Obama administration may be correct to say that many people other than Americans were affected by 9/11 and its aftermath. However, Obama’s record of deference to global organizations, his veneration of international law, and his rejection of American exceptionalism (unless it is to criticize America for being exceptionally “dismissive, even dirisive” of other nations) all make this minor policy document objectionable in context. It becomes just one more way in which Obama “disses” and marginalizes America on one of its most important days of commemoration.

  120. Remember that on 9/11 the US lost its mind and became consumed with fear and anger. It embarked on an irrational World Wide Killing spree, and threw its thinly held values to the ground, embraced torture and concentration camps and destroyed its economy and lost the sympathy of the World, except for Israel. We invaded countless Countries and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and began using cowardly drones to do our dirty business around the World and you want to remember all that. Best to forget about it, and try to regain your equalibreum and withdraw its grotesque military from around the World.

  121. I'll remember 9/11, but will not go to some overly patriotic demonstration full of praise and prayers. What happened happened, and the people lost have been dead for a long time. It was a sad, frightening, horrifying, tearful event. But, in my opinion, what has followed is also, sad, frightening, horrifying and tearful - war, war, war. And for what?

  122. Although the great orator, the Honorable Edward Everett of Massachusetts, spoke for two hours at Gettysburg, it is Lincoln’s Address that we remember.

    How remarkable that the Democrat-leaning Chicago Times description of Lincoln that day so aptly applies to President Obama: “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States."

    Am I going to watch him make a partisan mockery of the events of 9-11? No. He continues to divide us. I have more respect for the fallen, the families, the responders and my Country than that.

  123. Why not just issue teleprompters to everyone, and give them the statement they are to make?

  124. I made a comment suggesting that Muslims deserve no extension of special sensitivities relative to the commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of 911. Had I posted the comment on the Wall Street Journal site it would have been accepted. But no, not on the New York Times site. It would appear that the editors are intent on censoring ideas they don't like. Which is what I've come to expect from liberals. "Open minded" means open to ideas they agree with.

  125. I posted a comment under Noam Harel's name by error. He was logged in on my computer and I did not realized that until after I sent it. Please don't publish the comment under his name and publish it under my name. I just re-sent it under MC (my account). Thanks.