Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memoriam

Matishayahu "One Day"

It’s not about win or lose because we all lose when we feed on the souls of the innocent.

There is, however, a difference between memory—the snapshots that stay in our minds always—and RE-membering.  Remembering means to “put back together” the pieces of the past, to rearrange the pictures of memory in order to make meaning, to heal, to forgive, or to inspire.

Today is not for politicians fighting the culture wars. It is not for religious leaders to try to score converts or demonize those who believe differently. It is not for posturing for the 2012 election. Today is for those who were there, for those who made it home, and for the families of those who didn't. It's for heroes and victims alike, and the people they left behind. Today is THEIR day.

But "living in the shadow of 9/11" means something very different to at least 16 children who grew up in Lower Manhattan. It means being engulfed in the "shadow" of the dust cloud, then watching it hover over your home for months (if your home wasn't destroyed). It means standing in the "shadow" of your apartment building whose entire north side had been burned off, allowing you to look directly into people's apartments. It means living in the "shadow" of your health that's been compromised from breathing toxic fumes. It means living in the "shadow" of the person you could have been, which was more than just interrupted.

For ten years after 9/11, the Arab Spring is here, reminding us that the future need not look anything like the past. Yet the past hasn't gone anywhere. It still demands its day of reckoning. But first, let us say Kaddish for the dead.

Our innocence is over, and if we try to protect our children or the flying public or the nation in general, we are going to see the beginning of a new dark ages.

Scott Morizot, Faith and Food "Reflections from September 11, 2001"
From my perspective, sadly, we did allow the terrorists to win. I don’t think in their wildest dreams they ever though they could provoke such drastic and lasting change in our nation from a single attack. They successfully instilled fear in our nation and acting under the impetus of that fear, we changed in ways that would have been inconceivable before that attack.

in that hour of inconceivable terror
when you take back your name
from all things.


  1. I have purposely stayed away from 9/11 articles each year, because adding stress and pain to my life worsens my physical ailments, but yesterday I spent a good part of the day watching stories not told previously. Out of 2,702 deaths, ( my numbers my be off by a few) only 12 bodies were identified, so that was a difficult thing for many, but we must remember that's how it is in war also. There were many identical twins who lost a twin in the attacks, and those stories were unique. Since my brother is a retired firefighter, my sense of loss resonated with the spouses of the fire fighters, who valiantly gave of their lives. The fire persons left "worked the pile", breathing toxic material that has resulted in many illnesses, and fighting off the stench. We cannot ever assume that nothing dramatic will happen to us, simply because we purport democracy. Many smaller European countries have fought many wars on their land, and we show little understanding of them when they do not want to fight with us. I feel sorrow for all those who lost friends, loved ones, spouses, and others. We must learn to feel more peace towards each other, especially now, when we've become a vitriolic nation that tolerates even differing views of christianity.


  2. I explained to my children that this tenth anniversary was really the funeral that America was too raw to have earlier. I remember in the first years very little was on television commemorating the day. This tenth anniversary coincided with the opening of the Twin Towers memorial. I expect the day to pass with much less made of it in the future,no more so that Pearl Harbor day, for example. This year was the big one. At least, that's how I interpret the change in commemoration from previous years.