For some reason, this was a bit creepy when I read it. I know it is no big deal, every WH would do stuff like this and has to, but I still found it kind of, I don’t know, creepy is all I can come up with:
The White House has issued detailed guidelines to government officials on how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, with instructions to honor the memory of those who died on American soil but also to recall that Al Qaeda and other extremist groups have since carried out attacks elsewhere in the world, from Mumbai to Manila.
The White House in recent days has quietly disseminated two sets of documents. One is framed for overseas allies and their citizens and was sent to American embassies and consulates around the globe. The other includes themes for Americans here and underscores the importance of national service and what the government has done to prevent another major attack in the United States. That single-page document was issued to all federal agencies, officials said.
After weeks of internal debate, White House officials adopted the communications documents to shape public events and official statements, and they sought to strike a delicate balance between messages designed for these two very important but very different audiences on a day when the world’s attention will be focused on President Obama, his leadership team and his nation.
The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.
“A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.
Why do we have to set a tone? What happened, happened. I’m watching the Tudors on Netflix, and one of the episodes I just watched was focusing on the reformation of the Church in England. The new Lutheran Archbishop of Canterbury was excitedly pronouncing that the reformation included requiring all people to learn the ten commandments and recite the Lord’s Prayer. The big reform was that it was in english, rather than latin. I groaned.
I sort of feel the same way about official proclamations on the tone that should be set for 9/11.