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A ‘National Day of Service’? Or a Political Hijacking of 9/11?

The White House pulls a crass political move that damages the non-partisan spirit of remembrance on September 11.

by
Donald Kent Douglas

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August 26, 2009 - 12:09 am
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Some might find the following a benignly public-spirited initiative. In April, the White House signed legislation that established September 11 as an “annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.” A regretfully bipartisan bill, the measure was passed as part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, and was promoted as a means to “encourage and facilitate community service across the country.”

Yet the reality behind this legislation is quite different. As Matthew Vadum reported at the American Spectator on Monday:

The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.

What’s happened, according to Vadum’s account, is that an assortment of hard-line radical activists and leftist community shakedown organizations have transformed Senator Kennedy’s arguably noble vision of shared commitment to national service into an alternative September 11 agenda seeking to eradicate the significance of the day as one of remembrance, mourning, and patriotic mobilization. In other words, the blame-America contingents at the base of the Democratic Party — with the endorsement of Barack Obama, the president of the United States — are hijacking our generation’s day of infamy, turning it into a “socialist holiday of community service.”

Vadum’s smoking gun is a “White House-sponsored teleconference” on August 11, in which literally the entire array of America-bashing left-wing special interests attacked 9/11 as a “day of fear” and promised to change the widely-accepted meaning of 9/11 from solemn commemoration to a gangster-rap celebration of agitation and social justice.

The teleconference call was sponsored by Lennox Yearwood, who Vadum describes as an “Obama ally,” the “president of the Hip Hop Caucus,” and one “who uses the honorific ‘Reverend’ before his name.” Interestingly, leftists are already pushing back against the Vadum piece. Chris Good‘s post at the Atlantic features this incredulous title: “When a Day of Service = Desecrating 9/11?” Barbara O’Brien is actually angry with the article, saying Vadum’s got a lot of nerve “after Bush’s shameless politicization of 9/11, which turned that day into an excuse for the Bush White House to use the Constitution as toilet paper.” Plus, Alan Colmes questions the authenticity of Vadum’s claims and sources, asking:

And what is the evidence of this? President Obama signed a law making September 11 a National Day of Service. The Spectator reveals what it claims are details of an August 11 conference call initiated by the White House that included groups it refers to as “extremist radical” and “unsavory left-wing pressure” (groups).

Colmes then gets follow-up huzzahs from a leftist troll at Michelle Malkin’s blog, who suggests that “Matthew Vadum made up the whole thing. Maybe there was a conference call, maybe not.”

There’s no doubt, of course, that  “Obama’s Plan to Desecrate 9/11” is legitimate. “Reverend” Yearwood published a commentary at the Huffington Post in March that confirms the “social justice” agenda of the White House teleconference call. Naturally, Yearwood’s piece is titled “Ask What You Can Do for Your Hood“:

This recession is a mess caused by the mistakes of the old, but the young possess the sole ability to clean it up. If the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act passes in Congress tomorrow, that torch of responsibility shall be passed on.

Thus answering President Obama’s call for a greater commitment to volunteerism and fulfilling John Kennedy’s demand to give back to the country.

The act (HR 1388) more than triples the number of government sponsored volunteer opportunities in America from 75,000 to 250,000. …

Now anyone regardless of race, class, religion, or background can be a leader in their own community.

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