Middlebury College students marked the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks yesterday with a display of 2,977 miniature American flags in front of Mead Chapel. The memorial, organized by the school's College Republicans and College Democrats groups, has happened every 9/11 for nearly 10 years, according to the Middlebury Campus.
Ben Kinney ’15, president of the College Republicans, spent two hours putting the flags outside of Mead Chapel on Tuesday night, and happened to be walking up the hill towards the chapel when he saw four females and one male stuffing the miniature flags into black trash bags....
Kinney said the protestors told him they were “confiscating” the flags in protest of “America’s imperialism.”
While the American flags on the Middlebury hillside symbolize to some the loss of innocent lives in New York, to others they represent centuries of bloody conquest and mass murder. As a settler on stolen land, I do not have the luxury of grieving without an eye to power.
Not too many college activists make a point of standing up for the Abenaki people, so good on Shireman-Grabowski there. But jeezum, the optics on this one are not good. Remember: Tragedy is not a one-upmanship contest! Social justice is not the Olympics!