10th Anniversary of 9/11

#1
I don't really want to say anything much other than the title of this post, just an acknowledgement of the 10th anniversary of that spectacle of horror. Though I didn't know a single person who died that day, no event in my lifetime -- outside the deaths of my own parents and one recent epoch of personal despair -- has come close to inspiring that level of sadness and anguish in me. And only recently have I begun to consciously understand how and why that should be the case, why my feelings constellated so uniquely and persistently around 9/11 (pictures I'd taken of the twin towers and of the Statue of Liberty from a trip in September of 2000 have been on my refrigerator for 10 years, to the point where my aunt was asking a few years ago if I was ever going to take them down.) Long before I knew it or even glimpsed how, the story of 9/11 was weaving itself into the narrative of my own life.

I invite anyone to share whatever memories or impressions or thoughts they have about that day in this thread. And here's hoping that we --mankind -- can permanently retain some residue of the best of what the tragedy elicited from us, which was an incredible outpouring of compassion and love and nobility and the conviction that, despite much evidence to the contrary, we are, indeed, made in the image of God.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: 10th Anniversary of 9/11

#2
Millions of others have more touching, compelling and unfortunately horrific stories and memories of that day. But for me, I was living in California at the time with my folks. I awoke that morning to my dad pacing the house talking very loudly--verging on shouting to someone on the phone. I had no clue what was going on of course, but soon was caught up to speed. My dad is a captain for United Airlines, and was one of the first 30% sent back up in the air once things were cleared (they didn't immediately go back to usual after all this, they chose a selection of pilots and crew to start flying again). So it was a very scary time. Not just that day, but that whole time surrounding.

I think when it really hit me was when I was watching CNN the night of 9/11, and saw the countless NYC people with pictures of loved ones, crying and pleading with the camera, distraught and hoping against hope that someone would tell them that their family members, friends, or lovers were alive and well. The despair and tragedy really hit me at that moment. Perhaps it was the human component. Who knows.

Re: 10th Anniversary of 9/11

#3
Thanks for sharing that, Garth. I find that I'm interested in EVERYONE'S experience of that day, no matter how seemingly remote it was from the epicenter, whether in terms of distance or relation to the victims. A huge part of what makes it such an important and compelling event in human history, I think, is the fact that, because of the way media and information technology was operating by 2001, it was a horror that could be shared among billions of people all over the globe as it unfolded. It shrunk the geographic/cultural scale of the event while paradoxically enlarging the emotional scale to a degree I don't think has ever happened before.

I can only imagine what your dad must have been thinking when he heard the news, especially as he found out that two of the four planes involved were United planes.

Again, thanks for giving your recollections and impressions.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: 10th Anniversary of 9/11

#4
Yeah, he had worked with one of the pilots, if memory serves. Not that it is that huge a coincidence, since you are constantly working with new crews and such in that job. Being in California and in college at the time, I felt pretty detached from the whole thing; the time difference (by the time I woke up and realized anything had happened, everyone on the opposite coast was neck deep in the crisis), having never been to New York--so the towers weren't a staple of living, unlike people on the east coast who, if they didn't live in NYC had most likely at least visited and seen them at some point.

My dad and I never really discussed it, because it was such a hot button topic. And avoiding is a great tool for denial. When I moved here to Boston, it always was an eerie feeling to be next to the boarding gate that one of the United flights left from that day.

And yes, you put it perfectly regarding the importance of media that day. The replaying of the planes into the buildings which seemed to be on loop throughout always struck me as incredibly selfish and exploitative by the news agencies. The way I recall, I saw those planes crash easily 30-40 times that day alone. And looking back on it, it was like watching hundreds of people die in an instant...30-40 times; while news stations throw it up to fill screen time. Again, just always rubbed me the wrong way. I was at the gym when they were doing a 10-year anniversary on one of the stations, where they showed those videos. I can't help but think of the wounds that open up for family and friends of people that were on that flight or in the buildings at that moment. Just doesn't seem empathetic whatsoever. In fact it is sending a weird double message about memorializing this tragedy, while also being self-serving and dramatic for the show's own purposes. Okay, I will get off my soap box now.
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