Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

I promised myself my next post would be light-hearted. I was skimming though old posts and realized how heavy everything is! Yikes.

Yet today is the 10th anniversary of the Sept 11 bombings, and anything less than honesty would trivialize the impact of that day. I visited a church for the second time today, and although overall I am impressed with their mission and approach, a comment was made about not getting 'swept up' in the events of today and remember that people die on a daily basis, many who don't know Christ.

I'm not arguing with that sentiment, and Im not questioning their motives. But for me, the events scheduled every year on this date are not purely about the lives lost as a result of the attacks, but a transformation in our cultural mindset; a realization of our own mortality; and a continual awareness of the similar plights of other individuals across the globe. For the first time, many 'civilians' were awakened to the real horrors terrorism and war impart on citizens of other nations, being given just a taste of what it feels like to not feel safe in  your own home. I thank God these attacks are so infrequent in our country, blessed but wary.

So for me, honoring 9-11 is about remembering the day that Global politics became real to me. About remembering a day when my own political consciousness was first stirred, a day when American citizens alike, old and young, male and female, north and south, black and white and brown and red, all joined together, bound by a common experience.

It's a day I hope we never forget. As I work with my patients it struck me to realize many of them do not have their own memories of that event; many of them had not as of yet been born. May we never forget the lives that were lost or the humanity we achieved.

I was in 2nd period when I first heard the news. We had sat down at the end of class, as was the norm, to watch the school-wide news story. I'm sure I wasn't really paying attention to most of the show; it was theatre class and in those days the program was highly structured. We sat in alphabetical order (thus I sat in the front row, on the end, next to my then-crush, now-bff Michael Fatica). The news show was the one point in that class where we could all converse a bit, though Dr. Stewart was quick to put a lid on things if they got out of hand. It's strange how even those memories seem so foreign and tender this many years later. Regardless, as the show ended, the news camera slipped back over to the female anchor Erin (I was always fascinated with the unique beauty of her eyes; they showed up very well on camera) and she looked slightly confused, slightly amused as she announced "I have just received word that a ... plane.. has hit the world trade center."

We all laughed.

It seemed truly ridiculous to consider. A plane? Hitting one of the largest buildings in the world? How much had he been drinking that day??

The class moved as one from the blackbox to the building next door for theatre history class, as was her wont, all casually conversing about the events. Once in our next class the tv was turned to the news, and remained there the rest of the day. The moment the second plane hit, I felt the weight sink in my stomach. The room became silent as reality set in.

I don't remember much more specific detail from that day. I remember watching the towers collapse. I remember half joking with friends about other attacks in DC, only to hear minutes later about the Pentagon. I remember a friend's concern that her aunt was in the city on vacation.

But mostly I just remember 'watching'.

And talking.

And wondering.

I remember . And I hope we never forget.