On this 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an event that motivated the writing of my screenplay, Constitution, the novelization of which is Intrepid Spirit, author and professor Alexander Riley, writing for Americanmind.org, laments American’s fading memory of that day.
Even worse than a fading memory, as Riley notes, is the belief by some Americans that we are to blame for the attack as, expressed by one of Riley’s colleagues:
“Then, on September 12, 2001, one of the other professors in my department posted an email message to the members of the department, calling for peace and reconciliation with the people who had carried out the attacks and stating that our violent history was the cause of the retributive strikes against us and that we deserved this counterblow. This person asserted that the best thing we could do was to come to a collective reckoning with our own malevolent role in world affairs and to spend any resources we had on the poor populations of the countries from which the terrorists had sprung, from which they always, invariably spring.”
Riley couples what he sees as the fading memory and the misappropriation of causation to a deepening political divide in the U.S. and confesses his lack of hope in that regard.
“We will in these days around September 11 read a good number of claims of how “we must never forget.” I know what these claims look like, as I have made them myself. I have spent a good deal of the 21 years since the attacks doing work to keep alive the memory of the heroes of that day. I regrettably admit that my faith in this project is extinguished. Most of America has already forgotten, and at least half of it remembers the day as a sign of American fallenness and failure.”
Read the full article, The Forgetting of 9/11, by Alexander Riley, 9/9/2022
Past and present cross swords in Intrepid Spirit when Moses Redding, unjustly punished for an act of heroism, is banished to command of USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” on a Mediterranean goodwill tour. It’s purgatory for a man of action, but it sets him on a course to redemption and romance as he and the crew must foil a terrorist plot to light the fuse on a world-wide jihad. With nothing but their mysterious floating museum and her antique weaponry, the crew must rescue the Vice President from the descendants of the ship’s historic foes, the Barbary Coast corsairs.