On the day of the September 11 massacre, I was off work, post-call from a night at the hospital. I was puttering in the garden. Then I was on the internet. A friend messaged me to look at the news. One of the twin towers was on fire.
I thought, that's bad. But not earth shattering. Except to whoever was in the tower. He said, no, this is a major fire.
I turned on the news, and saw it was a lot more than that. This was a horrendous fire. Then, watching the news, an airliner flew into the second tower, and it was engulfed in flames. There were people falling from the towers, to their deaths. During those falls, they knew they would die in minutes, or seconds.
Here I am, maybe 3,000 miles away, watching the scene of mass murder. At the time, no one knew who was responsible.
Then, I watched on TV as a tower collapsed. At that moment, I was stunned. I kept thinking, there is something not just wrong, but surreal, about that. On the news, they said there may have been 40,000 people inside.
I emailed my partner, who was in China at the time. He didn't believe me.
Then, the 2nd tower collapsed.
There was a news announcement. Another plane crash, at the Pentagon. Another plane headed to DC.
On that day, thousands of people were murdered. Many thousands more lost their loved ones, their child, their parent, their sibling, their friend, their lover, their spouse, their breadwinner, their confidant, their colleague.
On that day, the sky emptied of airplanes. No vapor trails. Clear blue sky. Eerie, and silent.
There are not many things that happen in a lifetime, when we can say "that day changed the world", or "changed our way of life". But on that day, the world did change, and our way of life did change. For the worse.
Looking back, at all of the water under the bridge, it feels like half a lifetime. Economies were devastated Families lost their source of income. We fought 2 wars. Thousands more died, possibly hundreds of thousands. Politics in the US became more dysfunctional, more brutal, more harsh. The world became more harsh.
Fast forward to today.
Today at work, no one seemed to remember, today is Sept 11th. People do talk about current events, but not this.
It's a day that we should all remember, up close and personal, in detail. I' want to commemorate the date. So much happened. So much changed. Those of us here, now, despite what we've gone through, we are the fortunate ones.
I don't have anything political, or social, or religious to say today. Just, that I remember.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
I forgot to add that one of the reasons for my shame...the main reason, really...is not the way the Cheney Administration behaved, that was to be expected, but the way so many "average" Americans reacted toward anyone who had already emigrated from any Middle Eastern country. They suddenly all became suspects, including people who left their homelands because they were endangered by being Christians or freethinkers, and our across-the-street neighbors who moved here 30 years ago from Pakistan, and have already suffered enough (severe medical catastrophes).
Local business owners felt compelled to paste "God Bless America" decals on their doors and windows in an attempt to prevent vandalism.They were only marginally successful.
Then there were the vicious, slanderous e-mails circulating on the net about "Muslim" or "Arab" convenience store employees laughing and cheering as they watched video replays of the airliners flying into the Twin Towers.
It all makes me feel ill, partly because I have an older friend who was born in America, but spent part of her girlhood in "relocation camps" because her parents were naturalized citizens born in Japan.
It could happen again.
If you think about the current paranoia, invasive TSA and NSA searches, the loss of civil rights due to the "Patriot" (HAH!) Act, and the nastiness that still goes on, I would say that the nineteen nitwits did accomplish their goal, even though we finally got rid of their useless fanatic of a leader.
Again, I express my original intent. To remember those who died. To express grief over their loss. And to express sadness over the cascade of events that followed.
This discussion has moved in other directions. That's OK. I infringe on no one's freedom of speech, and in fact encourage expression of diverse opinions. Especially when backed up with linked references. But even if not.
On the other hand, the person who originally posts, is responsible for monitoring the comments that, follow. That means if the discussion goes elsewhere, the original poster is stuck following a discussion they did not intend to start.
I suppose I expressed it poorly. I think we can grieve for losses even if the individuals who we lose were only human, even if others, elsewhere, have lost more, and even if our government is flawed, and even if we disagree with the politics. Those killed included many nationalities, privileged and oppressed, adults and children. To me, humanism means honoring their humanity.
To honor their humanity does not take away from the humanity of people who are oppressed elsewhere, or the many who are impoverished, ill, die, orphaned, or have no civil rights.
I want to encourage people to start a new discussion of the topic as you wish. For continuity, you can link to this one, if you wish. In addition, you can have the last word on this one. I don't feel the need to have the last word. But I also do not desire to stay in the discussion. This post will close in the morning, Sept 14th.
I'm sorry I veered off topic.
But WHY do we tend to memorialize disasters for years (decades) and totally ignore our victories? Example: July 20th should be a day of wonder and celebration, if not a national holiday, but most people don't even remember or care what happened on 7-20-1969. THAT pi##es me off.
Okay, I'll shut up now.