I thought long and hard about whether or not to jump on the 9/11 bandwagon. Seems every year, everyone writes about it — where they were when it happened, what they did, what they thought. The experience is relived moment by moment, rehashing in painful detail the instant when the planes struck, the last phone calls, the battles afterward.
I can’t decide if that’s good or bad.
I don’t think we should forget it happened. How could we? It was a pivotal experience in the history of the United States. Attacked? How could WE be under attack? It brought complacency to its knees. Not a bad thing, in my opinion, although I’m sorry that it occurred in such a way.
What right have I to speak about that day? What does it matter where I was or what I did? I lost no one in the attack (thank God). Oh, a friend of a friend who I met once in brief passing. The brother (a firefighter) of a woman I once knew. But no one near and dear to me.
And yet….they are each near and dear to my heart.
But I think about those who lost people they loved in the attack. They’ll never be able to escape 9/11. It will hover in the back of their minds for the rest of their lives, looming larger as the calendar turns. I wonder how they mark that day. Do they watch the media displays (shown over and over and over; Heaven forbid we let a scab form)? Do they listen to those final messages of love and anguish? Do they turn their backs, close their ears, and go do something else with their day? Do they commemorate that massive loss of life by volunteering their own energies elsewhere?
That’s how I’ll mark the day this year. Not sure yet what I’ll do. Maybe plant a tree in remembrance. Maybe go to the beach and pick up some trash. Something to honor the sacrifice of those who died as well as those who survived, but in a life-affirming way. There’s enough hatred in the world that I don’t need to add to it.