Time to return to normalcy

Tim Paluch

Fridays are the day my columns appear here in the opinion section. I had my column for this week planned out well in advance. But I thought long and hard about whether or not to scrap it and write something about Tuesday’s horrible act of cowardice.

I came to the conclusion that to not talk about the attack would trivialize the enormity of the situation.

To write about the same things we’ve read all week – the devastation, the questions we’re all asking one another, the reflections on our own mortality – would be repetitive. My voice isn’t the one that needs to be heard on those topics right now.

So I decided I’d talk about what we should be doing as a nation now.

We’ve come to a fork in the road as a grieving nation.

Do we continue to grieve? Continue to cancel sporting events? Continue to close governmental offices?

Or do we do put this behind us the best we possibly can – allow the sporting events to go on, open the offices and no longer let fear and grief overtake our nation?

It is my own opinion that the second option is the better one.

The terrorists responsible for this catastrophe grounded our planes for days. They silenced our financial markets. In one morning, they managed to destroy the mood of an entire nation.

Every football game that isn’t played is another small victory for those involved with the attack. Every cancelled concert is us allowing fear and grief to continue to dictate our way of life.

The sooner we return to normal, no longer allowing this tragedy to disrupt our everyday way of life, the sooner we prove to these people that they have not won a thing.

After a week of indecisiveness, it was announced the Iowa-Iowa State game will be postponed. Major League Baseball and the NFL all canceled games for the weekend. I understand the reasoning behind these decisions and the reasoning behind all the other cancellations and postponements, but I question whether or not it was the right thing to do.

The terrorists behind the attack set out with a goal – to disable America as much as possible.

They already did enough in harming our government and our economy. And with the recent decisions to cancel most scheduled events this weekend, they’ve succeeded in disrupting yet another facet of our lives.

Some may call this view insensitive, saying that a football or baseball game is meaningless compared to the tragic events that took place Tuesday. How could we play football just four or five days after a day when more Americans lost their lives than during Pearl Harbor?

Well, in my opinion, we must play. It is the only way to truly get past the tragic events that will obviously never be forgotten.

Friday is the national day of mourning. This is the day the nation has set aside as the one we all should use to grieve. On Monday, Major League Baseball games resume. Will the nation have gotten over their grief Monday and not Saturday or Sunday?

There isn’t a set amount of time needed to deal with the tragedy. An arbitrary time set aside does not further the grieving process.

As a nation, we will never get over Tuesday’s despicable act. What we need to do, however, is to do our best to return to a normal way of life.

Allowing this tragedy to filter into all aspects of everyday life does nothing but give the terrorists a sense of victory. And that would be tragic.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the Daily.