Saturday, September 11, 2010


(Now Playing: "Hide and Seek" -- Imogen Heap*)

i still remember where i was when i got the news.  i was in 6th grade then, and i was getting ready for school just like any other day: eating some cereal, watching the today show...but then they started showing the footage of the second tower being hit, and i had no idea what was going on.  all i knew was it was crazy and scary and surreal, like those nightmares you can't remember the next morning, no matter how hard you try.

when i got to class, we didn't really learn anything.  we just talked about what we had seen.  there was a boy who claimed he'd get a gun and shoot osama bin laden one day.  we all thought he was an idiot then...but looking back, we were just 11, and we didn't know how to cope with something like this.

i still remember the strong and sometimes extreme since of patriotism that lingered after the ash had dissipated.  i remember the slight obsession with renaming american things that had other countries in their names.  in particular, i still kind of laugh at "freedom fries," even though they represent something that's not a laughing matter.  looking back, we were all just victims of an inexplicable act, trying to band together and pick up the pieces of collective shattered hearts and lives, and we didn't know how to cope with something like this.

since then, i've met a lot of people who were born on 9/11 of some other year.  sometimes i wonder if they still celebrated their birthdays that day, or if they even look at it the same way.

i think a lot of us just kind of forget about today.  it's something whose significance is on the tip of our tongues, but we often don't realize it until someone else brings it up.  i don't know if that means we've stopped caring.  but it's sad in any case, especially given how much we say "we shall never forget."

today should be sacred.  we shouldn't talk of burning korans or barring muslims from building a community center close to the world trade center site because it's "insensitive."  that kind of talk is what's really "insensitive," and it shows that we really have forgotten.  it's also, quite frankly, not the point of this day.  this day is one of many in which we should be praying, loving, working, helping others heal from these 9-year-old wounds.

*there's a minority of people who think "Hide and Seek" could be about 9/11, in addition to the many suggested meanings for this song (for example, the ones posted here).  i don't mind saying i belong to that minority.  in any case it's a beautifully cryptic masterpiece.*

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