Was AT&T’s 9/11 tribute really “that” tacky?

The Internet is up in arms over AT&T’s Facebook commemoration of the September 11 attacks. Personally, I don’t get the anger.

AT&T posted a picture of a man’s hand holding up an iPhone showing the light memorial to the World Trade Center that went up in NYC a few years ago (and actually may still be up, I’m not really sure).  At the top of the post it simply says “Never Forget.”

Here’s the actual Facebook post from AT&T, courtesy of Buzzfeed.  Many people – though not me, and I’m sincerely curious what you folks think – felt that this was AT&T crassly taking advantage of 9/11 to sell phones.

Here’s the offending commemoration:

ATT-ad-for-911I don’t get it.

The anger, I mean.

Everyone hated it.  And I mean everyone.  But not me.  I thought it was kind of well done.  Inspired even.

First off, let me just say, I’m one who thinks we’ve remembered September 11 more than enough at this point.  I was in Washington, DC that day, and discovered, unbeknownst to me before, that I had a view of the Pentagon from my 10th floor window. At least a view of the Pentagon when it’s on fire and smoking across the entire DC skyline.

Over the following few weeks on non-stop sirens 24 hours a day, and reports of security outside the White House putting on gas masks, and planning escape routes with my friends who had cars just in case there was a chemical attack or a dirty bomb, I was pretty convinced we were all going to die. The last thing I need is anyone reminding me about something I’ve been trying to forget for going on 12 years now.

Having said that.  Much of the country seems to be rather big on reminding us to “never forget” something we never could, so I’m a bit perplexed as to what golden rule AT&T broke regarding commemorating September 11 in the “wrong” way.  I’m not entirely convinced that I’ve witnessed much of the “right” way.

Back to AT&T’s “Never Forget” social media posts.  They used a picture of a phone.  Yeah, and?  It’s AT&T.  They’re a phone company.  So I’m not surprised that they’d use a phone as a way of commemorating 9/11.  It’s not like they indicated the price of the phone, or in any other way suggested they were having a special 9/11 fire sale (“Never forget… you can simultaneously call for help during a terrorist attack AND surf the Internet for the nearest escape route on an AT&T iPhone! Can’t do that on Verizon!”)

So is it just me?  Am I the only one who isn’t terribly offended by the AT&T commemoration, beyond the fact that I’m over everyone’s over-commemoration of this national tragedy?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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