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
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 10,614 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 3,203 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 2,507 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 2,355 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,016 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 1,502 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
What Is a Gift Economy? - Alex Gendler
4 min · 1,387 views today · What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in...
Why I Think This World Should End
4 min · 1,126 views today · Sorry if this offends you. - Prince Ea
Union Co-Operatives: What They Are and Why We Need Them
Simon Taylor · 1,080 views today · Neoliberal policies contribute to alienation, disempowerment and non-unionised jobs, but a new model for unions could break the vicious circle, argues Simon Taylor.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 947 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...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 663 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Prophecy Delivered! Martin Luther King Jr. and the Death of Democracy
Reverend Osagyefo Sekou · 658 views today · “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Democracy is dead. It...
The Myth of Romantic Love May Be Ruining Your Health
Susanne Vosmer · 569 views today · Romantic love in Western societies is often portrayed in a stereotypical way: two yearning halves, who search for each other to find their complete, original state. Few find...
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 536 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 339 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 331 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 315 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 297 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Bracing for Trump's Anti-Worker, Corporate Agenda
Colin Jenkins · 293 views today · Rich people don’t have to have a life-and-death relationship with the truth and its questions; they can ignore the truth and still thrive materially. I am not surprised many...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 278 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Son of Victim Arrested for Protesting Military Exploitation of 9/11