Note: This story originally was published on September 11, 2009. It has been one of The Schilling Show Blog’s most popular posts with tens of thousands of views worldwide. In in honor of those who perished in the September 11, 2001 attacks on America, this commentary has been re-posted.


Of all the things that Americans could be doing to commemorate the September 11, 2001 radical-Islamic-inspired attacks on the citizens of United States, what might come to mind:

  • Petitioning God for the healing and restoration of America (2 Chronicles 7:14)
  • Teaching your children about the evil perpetrated on this day
  • Remembering the blessings God bestowed upon America throughout her history
  • Watching video of the 9/11 attacks in order to strengthen your resolve in the fight for liberty
  • Visiting a church or synagogue for quiet reflection
  • Face painting

Face painting? Yes, face painting.

For the third consecutive year, the City of Charlottesville, led by City Manager, Gary O’Connell and Mayor David Norris, are using City tax payer dollars to provide face painting for your kids, and to propagate a dangerous myth: September 11 is a time for frivolity and a day to celebrate “peace.”

Charlottesville’s ongoing participation in the “September Concert” events demonstrates utmost disrespect toward the direct and indirect victims of the 9/11/01 attacks, as well as toward all freedom-loving Americans.

Instead of this day being about remembering the victims of September 11th, it’s now about “the party,” as described in the City’s “September Concert 2009″ press release:

On Friday, September 11, 2009, across America and around the world, the skies will come alive with music as The September Concert Foundation organizes its eighth annual global day of music for peace. On that day professional and amateur musicians will perform classical music, jazz, rock & roll — all kinds of music in all kinds of venues — from parks and squares, schools, libraries, and senior centers.

The City of Charlottesville is proud to announce that they will be joining this global effort along with Monticello Media and Unity Church to promote peace and understanding on the 8th anniversary of September 11th with a concert to be held at Central Place on the Downtown Mall.

The concert will take place on Friday, September 11th from 4:00pm – 7:00pm and will feature the talents of The John Wyant Band, Laurence Elder and the Music Resource Center. Plus special performances by the Wordsmith Poets and the AHS Vocal Jazz Choir. There will also be free face-painting for the kids and participation by local dignitaries.

This is the third year that the City of Charlottesville has participated in this international event to form the largest free concert offered across the world.

The public is encouraged to join members of City Council and the rest of the community for the free concert of diverse music to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation… one individual, one community at a time.

Seating will be available and the event will be held rain or shine.

For Charlottesville Communications Director, Ric Barrick, and his City Hall cohorts to reference this day as a day when “the skies will come alive with music,” is nothing short of vulgar.

Do they not comprehend that the skies were filled with death on that 2nd date of American historical infamy? That the weapons of attack were fuel-laden, airborne American jetliners—filled with innocent men, women and children—purposefully directed into buildings filled with additional innocent men, women and children?

For the city’s press release to promulgate the idea that this concert will “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation,” implies that the United States deserved the September 11th attacks, because we did not mutually respect the attackers’ origins and their faith—that if we would just try to “understand” and “cooperate” with those who attacked us, we all could live side-by-side in “peace.”

The appropriate “understanding” for this day and beyond is that almost 3,000 innocent people were murdered in cold-blood on American soil in the name of radical Islam.

The appropriate “cooperation” for this day and beyond is not a superficial, externally-oriented global “pageant,” but rather, an internal resolve on the part of all those who love America and the freedoms for which it stands. As a nation, we all must be courageous enough to recognize and call out evil when we see it and to cooperate internally in fomenting its destruction.

jumperDon’t be fooled by cheap advertising ploys, cute sound bites and “feel good” gimmicks. Don’t drink the peacenik Kool-Aid. Don’t trivialize the slaughter of your fellow citizens through attendance at events such as the city’s concert for “global peace.”

September 11 is not about peace, music, balloons, face painting, ice cream, or the like. Whether we are able to face it or not, September 11th is about murder, mayhem, destruction, chaos and evil. And all of us were the intended victims.

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Rob Schilling is founder of the multi-award-winning Schilling Show Blog and News, proprietor of Schilling Show Media; host of both the Schilling Show Unleashed Podcast and WINA's The Schilling Show heard weekdays at noon; husband; father; worship leader, Christian recording artist and Community Watchdog.


  1. September 11 was a national tragedy, and its commemoration ought to be a time for national unity, for putting aside ideological disputes, and mourning and remembering together.

    It’s a shame to see it used as an occasion for partisan name-calling and lecturing. It’s a shame to suggest that people aren’t good, freedom-loving Americans just because they have a different philosophy of how to prevent more terrorist attacks.

    Face painting isn’t frivolous. It’s an age appropriate activity for kids too young to have to deal with the evil of 9/11.

    Concerts aren’t frivolous on a serious occasion. They are a way for people to come together and support each other in a difficult time. Regardless of whether you think the program did any good, regardless of whether you think “promot[ing] peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation… one individual, one community at a time” is a wise way to defend the country, it is hardly a frivolous goal.

    And think about this for a moment, Rob. The dead were not all conservatives. Many of the dead were liberals, were the sort of people who’d have shown up for commemorations like this if they’d lived. It is not disrespectful to honor them in ways they would have chosen to honor others, nor does honoring them this way prevent conservatives for honoring them otherwise. It is disrespectful to sow division on a day when we should all stand together.

  2. Rob, thanks for reposting this! 9/11 should be kept as a solemn day of remembrance; and as a day to teach our children that from time to time, evil must be confronted.

    America lost its innocence on 9/11; we realized in one horrific day that we were no longer safe from the violence of radical Islam. Many lifelong liberals became 9/11 conservatives on that day, and in response to Ken I would say the vast majority of the liberals he referred to, some of the victims of 9/11, would have been among the 9/11 conservatives had they had the chance to survive.

    Face painting is for birthday parties and 4th of July celebrations, but to do it on 9/11 gives children the false impression that something good happened on that day and they have nothing to worry about. It’s irresponsible and negligent to take that attitude and fail to teach our children that evil stuck on that day; and that it’s an evil that still exists today, and cannot ever be ignored again.

  3. in response to Ken I would say the vast majority of the liberals he referred to, some of the victims of 9/11, would have been among the 9/11 conservatives had they had the chance to survive.

    Do you have any evidence for this, Harrison? The best way to guess at how the survivors would have reacted politically is to look at their families. A group calling themselves September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows rallied in support of the proposed 9/11 mosque . . . in in support of peace. Was their a survivor’s group that opposed them? And isn’t the best way to honor people who were murdered because they were Americans to set aside our differences on 9/11 and stand together as Americans? When will the proudly Christian Schilling Show learn to love its political enemies?


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