Last year I posted at length about the wake-up call on September 11, 2001
On this fifth year anniversary I want to examine why I dwell on it, rather than putting it behind me. Some people don't want to see the images again. Once was enough. They feel it's burned into their brain and they don't need a reminder. Not me. Every time a see a picture, or television footage, or hear a someone's story from Sept. 11, it's fresh again. I feel the vulnerability of that day, the confusion and the anger. After that day, there was no going back. My eyes were open to the wider world.
I feel like it's a betrayal to all those who died that day, to "just move on." It's a betrayal to their families, who must cope every day with the hole left in their lives where their loved one used to be. After September 11 everyone seemed to be laser focused on what was important, their families, their community, and their faith. All the fluff fell away easily. Football stopped, TV shows suddenly seemed silly and I wondered why I ever wasted my time with tabloids and celebrities. We focused on serious matters, like war, and security and starting families.
Incrementally, the silly stuff eased back into my life, but everything is now in perspective, what's important and what's not. We need diversions, but our lives can't be all diversion. We need to pay attention, and to remember.
I watched the realtime CNN news coverage on CNN Pipeline this morning. It was a crappy streaming product so it was more frustrating than not. Then I realized FoxNews was doing the same thing so I watched their feed. It was fascinating to hear the coverage and see how speculative and uncertain some of the reporting was, from both networks. Now we know, or we think we know all the details. What you get from watching the coverage from that day is the feelings, the shock, the alarm, the gut-wrenching sorrow when you began to comprehend the scope of the loss...
I'll finish with a copy of a poignant photo, first printed in the Village Voice, which really spoke to me...