Son of Victim Arrested for Protesting Military Exploitation of 9/11
'Using Sept. 11 as a justification for an unnecessary war, torture, drone strikes and civilian casualties compounds my grief and is wrong-minded and counterproductive.'
Son of Victim Arrested for Protesting Military Exploitation of 9/11
By Lauren McCauley / commondreams.org
Sep 22, 2015

In Maine, a lone voice of protest at a small-town 9/11 ceremony has raised questions about how some mourn, and others exploit, the legacy of that day.

Jamie Roux, whose father, James M. Roux, was one of the doomed passengers of 9/11's United Airlines Flight 17, was arrested on Sept. 11, 2015 for interrupting a remembrance ceremony in Freeport, Maine.

The event—not unlike countless others that were held around the country that day—featured wreath-laying, a rendition of "Amazing Grace," the town's own "flag ladies," and a number of speakers who shared tales of military bravery in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars that followed 9/11.

Though local media reports, here and here, painted Roux as a heckler who was detained and charged with disorderly conduct after resisting arrest, he says he was there to raise concerns about the U.S. military's exploitation of 9/11 victims.

jamie-roux.jpgJamie Roux (Facebook)"On Sept. 11, 2015, I went to the Freeport Fire Station for the end of a 9/11 remembrance ceremony, which I had seen advertised on Facebook. I expected to see a 'display of interesting Freeport Flag Ladies memorabilia and refreshments.' I saw instead a program of military force," Roux wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

"To me, the ceremony was a painful example of my father’s murder being exploited to advance partisan, political and disturbing policies," he said.

"Using Sept. 11 as a justification for an unnecessary war, torture, drone strikes and civilian casualties that followed compounds my grief and is wrong-minded and counterproductive," Roux added.

You can read Jamie Roux's complete statement published today below:

On Sept. 8, 2001, I lost track of time while swimming in Casco Bay. I showed up two hours late for lunch with my dad. He was embarking on a new chapter in his life. We both knew that we wouldn’t see each other for a while, and I could tell this made him sad.

After lunch, my father dropped me off at a friend’s house, and I hugged him for the last time across the center console of a car. A lawyer, musician, outdoorsman and proud veteran with a legendary sense of humor, he boarded a plane three days later, on Sept. 11, 2001.

Terrorists hijacked the plane, cut his life short and were responsible for the deaths of many innocent people and heroic first responders. All of America suffered a loss that day, but those of us for whom the loss was the most personal may experience Sept. 11 each year differently from our fellow Americans.

On Sept. 11, 2015, I was arrested for speaking up during a public 9/11 remembrance in Freeport. I was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and thrown in jail. I have since been painted in the news and on social media in a way that is not who I am.

I am a pacifist and a patriot. I most love about America the very things that the terrorists hate: our diversity; our freedoms of religion, speech and association; our protections and tolerance for ethnic and religious minorities and of different lifestyles.

Many other countries offer those same protections, some even more zealously and successfully than the United States, but they are not targets of such hatred and so many terrorist attacks. To me, this is the product of a foreign policy of force and hubris more than of moral leadership.

I wish that the suffering wrought by the terrorists had ended in 2001. After Sept. 11, we rushed to invade Iraq before getting conclusive, reliable evidence of weapons of mass destruction. I believe that the invasion was out of a need of some for a post-9/11 “win” in the Middle East, to protect our access to oil and to enforce colonially imposed national boundaries.

These polices are contrary to the exceptional principles upon which our country was founded. They have not worked, have led to the death and dislocation of millions of people and have caused many to hate us. Using Sept. 11 as a justification for an unnecessary war, torture, drone strikes and civilian casualties that followed compounds my grief and is wrong-minded and counterproductive.

On Sept. 11, 2015, I went to the Freeport Fire Station for the end of a 9/11 remembrance ceremony, which I had seen advertised on Facebook. I expected to see a “display of interesting Freeport Flag Ladies memorabilia and refreshments.” I saw instead a program of military force.

The guest speaker I saw, dressed in his military uniform, spoke about the policies of Ronald Reagan. I saw no representation of peaceful views. To me, the ceremony was a painful example of my father’s murder being exploited to advance partisan, political and disturbing policies.

I reacted to what I saw as the conduct of some to exploit 9/11 victims, promoting an aggressive foreign policy that is contrary to my most core values and that I believe can only lead to more murder and mayhem, as well as to a deeply troubling cultural ideology that celebrates and rewards such aggression.

I admire and have nothing but gratitude for the brave first responders, many of them police, who risked and sacrificed so much on Sept. 11 and after. But I am disillusioned that the statements of local police quoted in one newspaper did not accurately portray my peaceable entry into the ceremony or the way I was forcibly removed.

I respect the rights of all at the ceremony to express their views in the right setting. I am not like the abortion clinic protesters whose violent language is intended to keep people from exercising their constitutional rights (although I would like the same speech protections they get).

I am disturbed, however, that this public event, on public property, with forced student attendance, presented only one side and promoted certain political views, rather than simply remembering the lives and mourning the loss of so many innocents.

America’s strength is in its openness and freedoms. We do not need to beat the countries, or individuals, we disagree with into submission. If we become complacent with war and scared to act peacefully, we will continue to live in terror.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
3.8 ·
1
Trending Today
7 Signs of Tyranny
2 min · 5,149 views today · Consider yourself warned.
How Comedy Can Disarm Bullies
3 min · 4,402 views today · As long as you're funny, it can get you out of almost anything - even getting mugged, as co-founder of Between Two Ferns Scott Aukerman recounts. Unfortunately, not everyone...
How Independent is Hollywood?
4 min · 3,156 views today · A huge number of big-budget Hollywood films, especially those featuring war, conflict or terrorism, are influenced by Hollywood's close relationship with the United States...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 2,151 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 1,645 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Immigrants For Sale (2015)
33 min · 1,497 views today · The detention of migrants has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which immigrants are sold to the highest bidder and traded like mere products. The Corrections...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,275 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 1,169 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,046 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,043 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 738 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 681 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Why Would Any of Us Want to Live like a Savage?
Juan Pablo Quinonez · 565 views today · Let’s not be romantic. Industrial civilization is no utopia. For every creature comfort we have, something or someone pays the price. The wilderness is no fairy tale either...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 527 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 493 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 481 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 374 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
Compassion, the Antidote
Martin Doblmeier · 365 views today · Thich Nhat Hanh has published nearly 100 books and is one of the best-known teachers of Zen Buddhism in the world today. In the early 1960s his practice of what he termed...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 252 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 243 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Son of Victim Arrested for Protesting Military Exploitation of 9/11