Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Boss’s Day, Nurse Appreciation Day, all have in common one thing: They were created by the greeting-card juggernaut, Hallmark, in an effort to encourage Americans to buy more greeting cards.
Now, in the ultimate insult, Hallmark is marketing Patriot Day cards, in commemoration of Sept. 11. Also available from hallmark.com are e-cards that, with the click of a mouse, can be sent willy-nilly through cyberspace.
While President George W. Bush may have declared Sept. 11 Patriot Day in order to recognize the anniversary of such a vicious attack, this use of tragedy to sell cards is marketing at its worst. Though, Bush himself cashed in on Sept. 11 by selling photos of himself hard at work on Air Force One last year and used the money for his campaign fund. Maybe there is a method to the president’s madness.
Hallmark isn’t the only company at fault. Blue Mountain Cards is also offering Sept. 11 e-cards through its Web site, and American flag paraphernalia and “I Love NY” shirts have overrun stores since Sept. 11.
Sept. 11 did change the face of America and the world. But to dwell on the attacks and the day it happened, and even to mark it with a special “holiday,” seems shallow and disrespectful for the people who died senselessly that day.
A moment of silence, flying flags at half-staff and special church services seem fitting ways to celebrate the anniversary of such a tragic day. The important thing is to move on. Retailers who choose to capitalize on the terror of that day are dishonoring the memories of all the people who died. They are encouraging
Americans to live with the fear of the past instead of looking toward the future.
America has changed, and it has rebounded. How about a card celebrating that?