9/11 Redux


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.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in 9/11, Connecticut, Essays, Loss, love, Melissa Crandall, Memoir, Memory, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 9/11 Redux

  1. When I went to post this reply to whitebuffalo, her comment got deleted. (Having one of THOSE computer days.) Mea culpa and apologies. This is my response: Gosh, I hope I didn’t imply that I thought it was all about us. I know it isn’t. What I meant was that any thought of where I was or what I was doing doesn’t, to my mind, matter when compared to what others endured that day. And I certainly meant no insult to other countries who have suffered.

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