I wasn’t planning on posting anything today about the 9/11 Anniversary, but after hearing a few references to the day I changed my mind.
First I heard someone say “Remember” with reference to today. That kind of struck a chord with me as the saw it as a politically charged word. 9/11 has been used as the reason for too many bad decisions and then to reinforce those bad decisions. Personally I think “In Remembrance” is a much better term to use for 9/11 as it removes the politics from the day without forgetting the impact that the day had.
Second, I was listening to Talk of the Nation today as they discussed Seven Years Later, Listeners Reflect On Sept. 11. I found it interesting the different reactions that people had seven years after the day. One women didn’t want her young son to know about 9/11 in order to protect him from it’s ugliness. I feel that this is wrong as that young boy will be living with the ramification of that day for the rest of his life; missing out on that day having any impact on him as he grows up is wrong.
I was also shocked how some major news outlets let the moment that defined 9/11 pass with indifference. I can’t believe that the media already chooses to ignore 9/11. Is this an attempt to persuade people that the problems we face today were not created by the decision made in the shadow of 9/11? I think right now is the ideal time to do a deep dive revisiting of 9/11. Let’s sit backward on our horse for a moment and take an honest look at the mistakes of the past seven, ten, twenty, or thirty years. Especially with this being such a key election year. Let’s put the rhetoric aside and do some introspection.
This afternoon I took some time to remember this morning seven years ago, the bright blue sky as I drove my convertible into my office located in the DC suburbs. I remembered the strange feeling as I walked into the office and saw people huddled around a TV in the main conference room. I remember sitting in my neighbor’s office watching TV five minutes later and watching the first tower collapse as I uttered “that’s it, we’re going to war”. Of watching the second airplane and then desperately trying to contact people from my company that I knew were traveling that day.
I remember sitting at home later that afternoon, watching the same images over and over on TV with my roommates. Realizing how unhealthy that was and forcing ourselves to go out and do something to take our minds off it. Heading to the tennis courts on the outer edge of Arlington, VA where we lived. Hearing the deafening silence of the world around us and then being shocked as we heard an airplane. Watching that airplane, Air Force One with an escort of 4 fighter jets, fly over the southern sky as it descended into Andrews Air Force Base.
I remember being one of 5 passengers on an flight a week after 9/11; having more flight attendants than passengers (and how the airline still made us sit in our assigned seat class). I remember my visit to New York City a month later to visit a customer on Wall Street. That un-natural silence still embracing New York City a month later; no horns honking, no crowds bustling. Of sitting in my customer’s office watching snipers on the roof tops of the buildings around us as the President visited Ground Zero.
Memories fade…but not all.
What are your remembrances of seven years ago?
About the Photos
World Trade Center Tribute in Light was taken by New York City photographer (and close personal friend of mine) Jon C. Hodgson. It has been featured in various New York City area publications and used here with permission.
Bruised & Battered But Still Standing was taken by me during a trip to New York City in April of 2002. The Sphere was a sculpture that was part of the World Trade Center plaza fountain and (mostly) survived 9/11. It was moved, in it’s damaged state, to Battery Park where this photo was taken.