Misty and I were talking last night about how we both hate the term "9-11." I don't like referring to that particular day as "September 11th," either. My reason is that it's not specific enough. The terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001 not every September 11.
Nevertheless, nearly everyone uses such terminoligy when referring to the incidents of that day. How else are we going to say it? We can't very well call it "the day of the terrorist attacks." That doesn't quite pinpoint what we're talking about. Some people refer to it as the day of the World Trade Center attacks, but that's irresponsible, I think. Unlike Pearl Harbor day, there wasn't just one location that was attacked. There were two other hijacked planes that day, remember?
For some reason, referring to Independence Day as July 4th doesn't trouble me. That's probably because I grew up hearing it labeled that way. But I don't want my children to grow up being able to recite some empty date that has no connection in their minds to an event. I'm not saying that I want them to "remember the heroes" or whatever. That's not my point. I just think continuing to label the events of September 11, 2001 as "September 11th" is lazy and will eventually (and I'm talking about a generation or two from now) lead to a dulling of our country's remembrance of it.
Last year President Bush declared September 11 to be "Patriot Day." Let's start using that name and remember the event instead of the date.