Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years After

As the anniversary of that day approaches, I struggle to find the right words to express the complex jumble of thoughts and emotions I now associate with the events of 9/11/2001.
Last year, I wrote simply and honestly about what I remember. And, yes, in doing so I was making a characteristically sardonic observation on the miserable state of un-civil discourse that paints much of American politics and the so-called news.
This year, I want to be more direct.
I want to be less cynical and, perhaps, a bit more radical.
I want to ask everyone I know to dig deep into your memories of that day and the weeks that followed and remember just exactly how you felt about other Americans, regardless of their race, religion, or politics.
Can you do that?
When I think back to that day and to the days that followed, one image rises in my consciousness more than any other. Not the moment of impact. Not the plumes of smoke filling the sky. Not even the mangled steel and rubble. It is the sky above us all, blue and cloudless. Limitless, endless blue sky, unmarked by clouds or contrails, a powerful symbol of hope and possibility.
For a while, under that sky, we Americans showed the world and ourselves that we were made of better stuff. We came together as a nation to repair and to comfort, to salvage and to rebuild. Those weeks following 9/11/2001 may well have been our finest hours, the best America we could ever be, if only because we stopped fighting amongst ourselves over petty, political differences and focused our attention on getting the right things done.
Can you remember that?
If you need a reminder, take a moment to watch President Obama's Weekly Address "Coming Together a One Nation to Remember."
Now, can we come together as one nation again to get the right things done? Isn't that really the best thing we can do to honor those who died and those who served?

1 comment:

  1. I've been mulling over that day for a few days. Between the TV and the daily Facebook postings it's in my face so much how can I not? I keep having a flash back to a full day of being glued to the tv, being sad and scared for the families going through that. I also felt very disconnected from it. I wasnt there so it wasn't happening to me. For days I was removed and disconnected from just about everyone. Then the dream job fell through because wall street collapsed because of those traggic events. The guys I was dating in the military were shipping out and close friends were going to war. I honestly was numb to the entire event until about a month ago. We were coming back from Vegas and I read an article in Vogue about this woman's struggle to stay alive. I just cried. Ten years worth of crying all at once. It was kind of painful.