Each year I experience the same thing. I love fall, September in particular. September has always seemed like the beginning of the year, not January. Surely this comes from school starting in the fall, a new grade, new start. All of that.
But for the last 10 years, my September has been marred, because as fate would have it, evil men (yes, I used the word evil) chose September 11th to unleash murder, horror and destruction on the United States. You can't get away from this................even if you wanted to, and with the 10th Anniversary this year, you can run but you cannot hide.
It's interesting to listen to the media, and even more so, to the people around me, to hear the wide variety of ways people are reacting..............as we all face 9/11/11.
Like everyone of a certain age, we can all remember where we were, how we heard, what we did that day. Much like other momentous days. I can remember the day President Kennedy was shot, even though I was a very little girl. Only years later, the murders of Martin Luther King. Jr. and Robert Kennedy. The day the shuttle blew up.........both times............and the day John Hinkley didn't succeed in taking Ronald Reagan from us. Each of these days are burned into our memory, along with some personal tragedies we have suffered. I remember getting the call at work, that a treasured friend of mine had died in a construction accident. The son of friends from church, dying in a car accident, and even recently, having Dad pass along the shocking news of the untimely death of my cousin Jeff. For me there is also that moment, answering the phone, and hearing the words that made no sense, that people had shot and killed my friends............and God had saved the life of another.
So........I approach this anniversary of 9/11 with mixed thoughts. I'm deeply moved and affected by all news reports of pain and sorrow. I have to watch myself not to sink too far into the sadness and drama. Many will (and have) said that the coverage is too much...........why do we dwell? Frankly, this is the reaction of many who have never experienced these things on a personal level. I hope we never forget. Never. I know those closely touched can't. You don't forget, you don't "get over". And anniversaries are always difficult. I guess forever. So as I surfed around the Internet, and watched the shows, and thought about what I might say here............I found a few pieces of film on YouTube. Moments preserved in time. Each dramatically different, and each from radically different perspectives.
First up, President George Bush, from the National Cathedral. Listen and go back in time. Think of how we all felt..............just 3 days later............listen for the strength and solidarity in his words. His unashamed proclamation of his personal faith, even quoting scripture....................sigh.
Then take a listen to the raw emotion of this...........a man known before and after for his left wing leanings. Disclaimer: I used to adore David Letterman. I watched him for years and found him to be the best of late night................and now I haven't watched him in years. In recent years he has driven me away, when his humor became cruel and so left leaning.........
With all that in mind.........listen to this...........and I saw it the night it was on.........
The raw emotion is stirring to see, his affection and admiration for Mayor Guiliani. Think back.......think back to those days, those weeks...........and how the world changed forever.
I heard someone on the radio talking about his memories from that day, he was in Manhattan........as he joined others running for their lives away from the Towers, and he couldn't forget that the streets were littered with women's high heel shoes.........discarded as they ran away. That was the small detail that had burned into his mind.
Today each of us will face, or not face, our thoughts about this terrible day in our collective history.
For me, I will watch the coverage, and take solice in the fact that we have survived. As a nation, we have survived. Living in the post 9/11 world has not destroyed us. I don't want to forget, or move on, because the lessons we learn from tragedy and grief make us better. If we let it happen. I really believe that.