Today marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Events in remembrance are planned, television programs and tributes are scheduled, and musical numbers have been written to honor the victims of that terrible day.
Are you participating or do you want to crawl in bed with a good book and try not to relive the tragedy?
Somehow there seems to be a banner of shame attached to those who don’t wish to spend the day stressed and saddened by all of the constant replaying of the horrible minutes that changed the DNA of America. Yet those left behind who sufffered the loss of a family member live with it every single day.
But what about our country’s loss – loss of additional lives to the ensuing war, loss of so many of our freedoms, loss of accountability of our leaders, loss of innocence, loss of our integrity around the world, loss of the enormous sympathy and good will freely given before we launched the first attack?
It is the word that comes to mind every time I think of the tragedy. We lost so many brilliant minds who were innocently trapped in the burning building. We lost trained fire fighters who ran into the smoke and flames innocent of the knowledge that they would collapse free-fall around them as had never happened before during a fire. We lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, neighbors, siblings, friends.
I remember the shock of it, the absolutely unbelievable factor making everything else that was happening seem insignificant. We became one nation regardless of our political affiliation. We gained sympathy and commonality from the world. I remember watching our president – who had been a bit unpresidential up to that moment – in his dark suit and white shirt with wide white tie, perfectly coiffed and stoic. I, like most Americans, sent him the very best thoughts and prayers for wisdom. He seemed to rise to the occasion and we all loved him and suddenly there was one true American heartbeat. We forgot that we were supposed to hate all Republicans who stole the presidency from Al Gore and all Democrats as was advocated by Ann Coulter. In fact she took the bait and ran with it, making her seem like a nut – well perhaps that isn’t the best analogy as she still seems like a nut. But the point is, we forgot that we were supposed to be at war with each other.
We let others in front of us in line at the supermarket, we winced together when planes flew overhead, we held the door for each other. We said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and noticed the wait staff in restaurants whenever we left our homes – which wasn’t often as we were glued to Fox News and CNN.
It felt like we were breathing as one nation and for one palpable moment we all wanted our sharply dressed leaders to succeed and represent us well.
That too has been lost.
I keep wondering what the victims of that day would say to us if they could come back and have ten minutes each to share what they know now in the spiritual realm. Would they say that we should revenge their deaths with more deaths; that we are right to remain at war to prevent another such disaster? Or would they say it had to stop, that hate and war never made anyone cease hate and war?
I don’t have the answer, I just feel immense sadness and loss from so many angles.
What are you doing today? Are you participating in events of remembrance? Are you planning to watch the programs on television that replay that horrible day? Are you meditating for peace or rallying for continued war? Or are you calling a time out – moments of peace for your own soul?
You are so right in your comments about how much kinder everyone was in the days following 9/11. It brought our country together, but now we’ve drifted apart again.
My husband and I are planning to attend a memorial service this afternoon: one that his mother has been instrumental in organizing EVERY YEAR on the Sunday nearest September 11. In the past, this has been a tribute to our local fire, police and EMS personnel in addition to those lost on 9/11.
Very thought-provoking post today.
What a lovely thing to do every year. I don’t think any of us will ever see September 11 without thinking of the tragedy.
Beautiful, heartfelt post, Renee.
I am remembering today and every day but also taking time to celebrate the hubbs’ birthday with our boys, grand kids and in-laws. We will not be swayed by cowards in their attempts to attack our freedoms and our very way of life.
Living life out loud and with glee and celebration is the best answer! Reverence can be paid, but doesn’t have to dominate. Bravo!
Thank you for your heartfelt post. I agree. I was in New York for the events and remember the unity, as well. I grieve today not only for the loss of all those innocent lives, but for our loss of that unity, too. I shared similar sentiments here: http://parisimperfect.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/a-decade-hence/.