Some of the released statements do suggest the political debates. Rep. Eric Cantor referenced debates over national security when he wrote, "Our national security must be a priority and we must protect against efforts that would undermine our ability to prevent or respond to another devastating attack." But Cantor's an outlier.
Interestingly, The New York Times has de-emphasized stories about 9/11 on its front page today, although they appear above the fold. I would have loved to hear the newsroom debate over where to position the box with the stories. The closest we can get is to read a blog post by The Times' public editor, Margaret Sullivan, about the paper's decisions for this year's anniversary.
The Marquette Tribune made a similar decision with today's issue. I was one of the copy editors on duty that night, and as we pored over the page in InDesign early this morning, I was struck by the fact that the national tragedy now only received a below-the-fold story. Part of the decision was because it wasn't a major anniversary — contrast our front page a year ago — and the value of two other stories published the same day.
In 10 years, the staff of the Tribune will made up of students too young to remember 9/11 at all and in the decades after, that will start to be true of more and more newsrooms. How will that affect how future anniversaries are reported? At some point, the stories will be even more infrequent and finally, become the domain of historians. As the Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan puts it, "The pain, the outrage, the loss — these never fade. The amount of journalism, however, must."
Ultimately, I have to agree with the amount of coverage the Times gave this year's anniversary. Perhaps the placement on the home page could have been better, but I think they set an appropriate balance.