In the weeks before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, right-wing media figures have renewed their attacks on President Obama for calling for a National Day of Service on September 11. However, in 2009, a majority of Republican senators voted to establish a 9-11 National Day of Service, and President Bush routinely called on Americans to volunteer on September 11.
Obama: "Once Again, 9/11 Will Be A National Day Of Service And Remembrance."
Obama: "Once Again, 9/11 Will Be A National Day Of Service And Remembrance." In his August 27 weekly address, Obama stated:
OBAMA: This September 11th, Michelle and I will join the commemorations at Ground Zero, in Shanksville, and at the Pentagon. But even if you can't be in New York, Pennsylvania or Virginia, every American can be part of this anniversary. Once again, 9/11 will be a National Day of Service and Remembrance. And in the days and weeks ahead, folks across the country--in all 50 states--will come together, in their communities and neighborhoods, to honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts of service and charity. [WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 8/30/11]
"Forget About The Terrorists -- Go Serve Soup": Right-Wing Media Attack Obama Over Call For 9-11 Service
Hoft: "This Plan To Desecrate The Memory Of 9-11 And Turn It Into A Socialist Day Of Community Service Is Nothing New." In an August 27 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft wrote:
In his Weekly Address Barack Obama today urged Americans to continue to transform 9-11 into a day of community service and soup kitchens.
This is what you get when you elect a radical socialist as president.
Forget about the terrorists -- go serve soup.
This plan to desecrate the memory of 9-11 and turn it into a socialist day of community service is nothing new. [Gateway Pundit, via Media Matters, 8/28/11]
Geller: "This Once Again Illustrates The Huge Void Obama Has In His Thinking. He Cannot Fake A Love For His Country, Nor Does It Appear That He Wants To." In an August 28 Atlas Shrugs post, Pamela Geller wrote:
The call for service on September 11th is inappropriate and sacrilegious. September 11th is a national day of mourning. Not service, remembrance for those who died in a surprise military strike against the United States of America conducted by the military wing of the global jihad, resulting in the largest loss of life in American history.
Is Pearl Harbor a day of service? D Day? This is wrong. September 11 is not about service; it is about honoring our war dead. This is deeply offensive. This is part of the relentless campaign to whitewash 911 and distract from the terrible reality of the day that forever changed this country.
This once again illustrates the huge void Obama has in his thinking. He cannot fake a love for his country, nor does it appear that he wants to. The man is missing a chip.
September 11th is a day of mourning. Service? Any other day. Not the tenth anniversary of September 11th. [Atlas Shrugs, 8/28/11]
Fox Nation: "Obama Urges Americans To Turn 9-11 Into Community Service Day?" An August 29 post to Fox Nation titled, "Obama Urges Americans to Turn 9-11 Into Community Service Day?" re-posted Hoft's blog post criticizing Obama's address, stating that the president "urged Americans to continue to transform 9-11 into a day of community service and soup kitchens." [Fox Nation, 8/29/11]
Weasel Zippers On Obama's Call For 9-11 Service: "Captain Inspiration Lays Another Egg." An August 27 Weasel Zippers post titled, "Weekly Address: Captain Inspiration Lays Another Egg," linked to a video of Obama's address with a caption stating, "Remarkable waste of time and bandwidth." [Weasel Zippers, 8/27/11]
Right-Wing Media Previously Attacked Obama For Calling For 9-11 Day Of Service
In 2009, Right-Wing Media Attacked Obama For "Demean[ing] The Memory" Of 9-11 Victims For Calling For A 9-11 Day Of Service. In 2009, right-wing media figures attacked Obama for his "decision to remember 9-11 as a national day of service." For instance, radio host Laura Ingraham declared that "marking 9-11 as a day for volunteerism demeans the memory of the thousands who were killed by Muslim extremists on that fateful September morning." Glenn Beck complained that Obama allegedly did not consult 9-11 family members before making the National Day of Service decision. Beck also likened the move to "the rape of a sacred memory." Rush Limbaugh accused Obama of "twisting 9-11 into a nationalist day of service to the state." [Media Matters, 9/8/10]
But A Majority Of GOP Senators Voted To Establish A "September 11th National Day Of Service And Remembrance"...
Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act Established A "September 11th National Day Of Service And Remembrance." On April 21, 2009, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act became public law:
(c) CALL TO SERVICE CAMPAIGN AND SEPTEMBER 11TH DAY OF SERVICE.-Section 198 (42 U.S.C. 12653), as amended by subsection
(a), is further amended by adding at the end the following:
''(j) CALL TO SERVICE CAMPAIGN.-Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Serve America Act, the Corporation shall conduct a nationwide 'Call To Service' campaign, to encourage all people of the United States, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, or economic status, to engage in full- or parttime national service, long- or short-term public service in the nonprofit sector or government, or volunteering. In conducting the campaign, the Corporation may collaborate with other Federal agencies and entities, State Commissions, Governors, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, businesses, institutions of higher education, elementary schools, and secondary schools.
''(k) SEPTEMBER 11TH DAY OF SERVICE.-
''(1) FEDERAL ACTIVITIES.-The Corporation may organize and carry out appropriate ceremonies and activities, which may include activities that are part of the broader Call to
Service Campaign under subsection (j), in order to observe the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance at the Federal level.
''(2) ACTIVITIES.-The Corporation may make grants and provide other support to community-based organizations to assist in planning and carrying out appropriate service, charity, and remembrance opportunities in conjunction with the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.
''(3) CONSULTATION.-The Corporation may consult with and make grants or provide other forms of support to nonprofit organizations with expertise in representing families of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and other impacted constituencies, and in promoting the establishment of September 11 as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.'' [Serve America Act, 4/21/09]
... And President Bush Routinely Called On Americans To Volunteer On 9-11
Bush Established National Service Organization, Citing The Spirit Of 9-11. President Bush, in his January 2002 State of the Union Address, announced that he was creating the USA Freedom Corps, a national service organization, and called "for every American to commit at least two years, 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime, to the service of your neighbors and your nation." Bush said that "[n]one of us would ever wish the evil that was done on September 11th, yet after America was attacked, it was as if our entire country looked into a mirror and saw our better selves. We were reminded that we are citizens, with obligations to each other, to our country and to history. We began to think less of the goods we can accumulate and more about the good we can do." [Bush 2002 State of the Union address, via CNN.com, 1/29/02]
Bush: "All Of Us Can Become A September The 11th Volunteer." According to a USA Freedom Corps press release, on the first anniversary of 9-11, Bush said: "Many ask, 'What can I do to help in our fight?' And the answer is simple. All of us can become a September the 11th volunteer by making a commitment to service in our own communities. You can serve your country by tutoring or mentoring a child, comforting the afflicted, housing those in need of shelter. Whatever your talent, whatever your background, each of you can do something." [USA Freedom Corps, 9/11/02]
2008: Bush "Renewed The Call He Made In The Wake Of The 9/11 Attacks" For Service. According to a September 8, 2008, Corporation for National and Community Service press release, "President Bush today renewed the call he made in the wake of the 9/11 attacks for every American to give 4,000 hours or two years of their lives in service to others." From the release:
The President gave a broad and passionate speech on the power of volunteers to transform lives and tackle deep-rooted social problems. Recalling the heroism of the first responders and the outpouring of compassion Americans displayed after the terror attacks, the President urged American to rekindle that spirit of neighbor helping neighbor that was so strong after 9/11.
"Volunteerism is strong in the country. But the truth of the matter is, the farther we've gotten away from 9/11, that memory has begun to fade," the President said. "And my call to people is, there's always a need. You should be volunteering not because of 9/11, but you should be volunteering because our country needs you on a regular basis. And so today I call upon our fellow citizens to devote 4,000 hours over your lifetime in service to your country. You'll become a better person for it, and our society will be more healthy as a result of it." [Corporation for National and Community Service, 9/8/08]