In memoriam, I'm reposting my September Eleventh Account. I'll save my Armory story for the decade anniversary, a story I have never actually gotten out of my head, but should; but I would like to say something here:
The flags and ribbons are showing up again, along with imaginary controversy, xenophobia and hatred, much of it for political gain. Once again, the annual reminder of how we have lost our way.
I remember the day after the day after The Day (September 13, 2001), because that was the day we all went back to work in Manhattan, a day when people were all "oh no, after you, go ahead" in the coffee line at the corner deli; there were no horns honking; the entire borough seemed to have been replaced with Stepford Wives versions of its original inhabitants. Brotherly love was everywhere, and we all had a sense of humility, of compassion. And I remember taking a step back and going "this is very interesting; let's see how long this lasts".
It lasted a week; tops.
By the following Tuesday I overheard a horn blast and a "get the fuck outta the way!" from a truck driver, and I was hit with a duality of emotions: sadness, immediately followed by one of nostalgia. Sad to see the kindness leave New York City, but perversely happy to see the status quo return.
So we're still the same people we were on September 10 2001, despite the horrific window we were given into the evil we're all capable of, and in many ways, all we share in common, both good and bad. Indeed, we're probably worse off. Worse off because we used that event and those people and the pain and anguish and the horror to sway the public eye off the ball and, well, you know the rest. And today, nine years later we're still doing it. We are so divided, so myopic, and so shrouded in a false sense of entitlement that even Wall Street 2008 didn't snap us out of.
It makes me sad (and extremely angry, and depressed) to see what is going on here. It's wrong and stupid to point the finger at one or even a thousand people (on either side of the aisle) for the hijacking of the hijackings for political and financial gain, and sometimes I feel like we are all doomed because this kind of thing is possible and can seemingly happen before our very eyes.
I wrote in a note to visitors to the Rome, GA flag at the Hoboken, NJ waterfront: "here's hoping you are all healing", but I think the scar tissue has only deadened true feeling. I wish we could move on and grow up. With that sentiment, once again: my experience on September Eleventh 2001:
This is Really Happening
It hurts, it happened. We all remember, and of course we all will, and all could, never forget. Quite honestly, to me, to implore people to "never forget" is to completely devalue humanity's sense of compassion.