Monday, September 11, 2006

Where you were.

I remember with great specificity this day five years ago and the profound impact it had on everyone around me. Though I had no direct connection with the events of that day, I will always remember where I was. With that I will remember those who were lost, the families that suffered, and the survivors who were late for work that morning or managed to walk out of those buildings alive and who have surely felt their own silent grief. Certainly I will remember those personal impacts along with the rest of the nation and most of the world.

But the term "9/11" as distinct from the actual event, has an entirely different connotation. I cannot say that as an American I am completely happy with what has been done in the name of "9/11" in the past five years. The curbing of fundamental civil liberties and the waging of an unnecessary war that has resulted in the loss of thousands of additional lives (and shows no signs of slowing down) does not honor the heroes and victims of that day. So, while today we remember - we should also contemplate whether our current foreign policy is doing anything to curb the hatred that some in this world feel for America and its citizens. It was that foreign policy, which at least partially, provided the impetus for the hatred that culminated in that fateful day five years ago. I won't go on with the politics. These types of conversations and debates are ripe with gray areas and careful nuances that cannot always be captured and understood by strangers in a written format, at least by someone of my limited writing skills. But as we remember the individual impacts, we must also consider if what we are doing today will prevent this in the future. Maybe we should try to wage peace instead.

So where were you that day?

3 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Liz said...

That morning I'd just seen my hubby off to work and poured a cup of coffee. My son (then two) was playing in the living room and I clicked on the Today show just after the first plane hit. I watched in horror as the second plane hit. In fact, I remember dropping my coffee on my lap. We lived in CT at the time, not far from NYC. I just remember spending the entire day staring at the TV, wondering what would happen next.

Every plane that flew over our high floor apartment made me panic...and I mean panic. I had nightmares for months. Nightmares of boulders falling from the sky. Nightmares of firemen walking down ghostly streets in to a cloud of dust... never returning. Nightmares of anthrax snow and Osama Bin Laden in my house. ... I could go on.

I remember candlelight vigils. Charity drives. Spaghetti dinners.

My Mom couldn't get in touch with me that day... the phone lines were jammed.

I remember thinking that maybe the terrorists had flown right over our apartment.

... disjointed thoughts... and still my story is so miniscule in comparison to so many others. But it still hurts. Every year. It always will.

... sorry to ramble. I don't feel like posting on my own site today, so I thought I'd share with you.

Debbie said...

I've been avoiding 9/11 stories today, yours is the only post I've read on the subject and you've said what I feel beautifully. Thank you. Peace, indeed.

Knittripps said...

First, let me say, I could not agree more with your post.

I will never forget where I was, what I was doing, and how I learned about the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. I had just finished my early morning class at the University and was walking down Clinton Street in Iowa City towards my apartment. Oddly enough, I ran into a childhood friend of mine who I was very close to growing up but who I had not seen in years. She was the one who told me what had happened.

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