I sit here every year, read a few news articles about folks who lost their lives, families whose loved ones never came home that day, and heroes who saved others, but lost their own lives. I never quite know what to say. It is a sadness that will never go away, and as someone I know said (and I apologize for not remembering who), the whole “never forget” thing is patently ridiculous. As if anyone could ever, in a million years, forget what that day was like. It was one of the most emotional days i have ever lived, full of anger, relief, disgust, horror, fear, disbelief, confusion, and a heartwrenchingly deep sadness. It is a waking nightmare that I take out like a worry stone once a year, just to remind myself that it was real, it really happened, and it happened to us all. A mass consciousness nightmare from which we will never quite awaken.
It also gives me one ray of hope . . . We have it so easy in our country, in so many ways, that we don’t know true day-to-day horror. I never want to experience something like 9/11 again, but I also never want to forget that given the right circumstances, our country might once again come together and stand undivided. It happened in those days after 9/11 and it might one day happen again.
Never forget. Here is what i wrote about my experience on 9/11 for the 911Digitalarchive, back in 2006. (OMG, i have been blogging for too long, i think!) I often revisit what 9/11 means to me and how my views about it have changed over the years, but i always come back to the story of what happened, of the event itself, and what it looked like from my little corner of the word. I always come back, like a stone that I worry in my palm and fingers, always studying it, but never quite figuring it out.
What is your 9/11 story?