Posts Tagged ‘2001’

“They’ve compared 9/11 to Pearl Harbor. In many ways that’s an accurate comparison. But it differs in a number of significant and psychologically important ways. After Pearl Harbor war was declared on ONE country and the ENTIRE Nation rose up to join in the efforts of defeating Japan. Today, we have the slippery world of the terrorists. They can exist anywhere. And we are not united in a war effort because this war is being fought on a higher technological and political plane. Those of us who can’t join our fighting forces have nothing to do except wave our flags and contribute to the many charities that have sprung up. There also is the fact that once we defeated Japan, there was an end. We had vindicated our dead, we could dance in the streets. We were once again safe. Not so now. If there was a beginning, there will be no definitive end. We will never be safe.”

I go on to write about how hard it is to escape 9/11 imagery and yet how I hunger for more and more of it:

“ And thus grief, the world, and my life has taken on an almost schizophrenic existence.

I think that what I have encountered is the emotional equivalent of AIDS. It is a virus lodged in my and others psyches. The usual balm will not route it out. At present there is no cure. Will I die from it? Like the AIDS patient who has lived with her disease for years, there are ways to cope. In time we will discover our alpha interferon. And it will not be a cure. But life will go on. Me and you, and the widows and heroes will learn to live with the reminders and the pain. And our lives will all be different. And in the end we will die. Some from not being able to cope, some from what surely will be other terrorist acts, and others from old age. Everything has changed…and yet…nothing. Life must go on. For the best memorial that I or anyone can erect, is a life well lived to the best of ones abilities. And to make that life count to the betterment of all humankind. Today’s generations and the ones of a tomorrow yet to come.” – from my WTC Journal post on March 25, 2002 “When Will It End – Part 2”

So 16 years in, have we? Are we living our best lives as a memorial to those who died? Are we bettering humankind?

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The 16th anniversary of 9/11 is less than 4 weeks away. What happened 16 years ago is overshadowed this year by continuing gun violence, attempted terrorist attacks, presidential problems, and the nuclear threat from North Korea. From now till Sept 11 2017, I will be writing about our love/hate affair with remembering America’s worse day in its history.

I would like to start off with this excerpt from my World Trade Center Journal.   I started that website in 2001 long before we had the blogs of today. For the first year it was my diary of what was happening along with my reactions and feelings and photographs of Ground Zero. This comes from my post on Oct 11, 2001 “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”:

“Tomorrow will never be the same. You, me, NYC, the US, lost something that dreadful day in Sept. We lost our innocence, our faith that tomorrow will be like the ones that came before. What we need to find, amidst the rubble of our disturbed lives, is the spark of hope. Hope that we can continue to care about one another. Hope that this nation will not destroy itself through pride and arrogance. Hope that our phrase “in God we trust” will indeed bring the grace of the Lord (however we see him/her) down upon us. For only than can we move forward beyond grief and tears, beyond the self-absorption of endless memories of the past’s horrors. Only then can we rebuild….replace the City of Sorrows with the City of Hope.”

16 years later I wonder if we have…