Things are tough all over. I’ll come out and say that I thought that the desire of the USOC to carry the WTC flag in the opening ceremony of the Olympics reeked of self-pity, or failing that, crass manipulation. Yes, something truly tragic, awful, and absurd happened to the United States last year. I still feel a strange rush of emotion when I encounter things that bring the 9/11 attacks to mind. But we’re the United States, and we have the luxury of not only sending a massive team to the Olympics but hosting the damn thing. For a little perspective, check out MSF’s ten most underreported humanitarian crises of 2001. The people listed have a lot more immediate things to worry about than which flag is appropriate for the opening ceremony of the winter Olympics.
Why did the USOC want our athletes to march in with the WTC flag? Are we in any real danger of forgetting the recent past? It seems to me that everybody wants their own turn at tugging at our heartstrings while they have the chance. First it was the World Series, then the Super Bowl (then Budweiser in a commercial during the Super Bowl), and now it’s the USOC. The wound still hurts, you guys shouldn’t be so eager to keep ripping the bandage off.