cygnoir.net

eight years ago

In remembrance of 9/11, I am sharing these excerpts from my written reactions eight years ago.

From 11 September 2001, “the act itself”:

On the way to work I heard a cor­re­spon­dent on the radio say some­thing about how the act itself was shock­ing, but the fact that it hap­pened was not. This is the scari­est thing I’ve ever heard.
From 12 September 2001, “the aftermath”:
I do not want vengeance. I do not want more vio­lence, and I espe­cially do not want more civil­ians — inno­cent peo­ple, regard­less of nation­al­ity — to die. I real­ize how seri­ous this act was, and is, and I real­ize that our gov­ern­ment will exact pun­ish­ment on those it thinks are respon­si­ble. I also real­ize we may be wrong. If we ever thought our­selves invin­ci­ble, that delu­sion no longer exists. The loss of life, of way of life, has been more than I expected. But it was only a mat­ter of time, as the say­ing goes.
From 13 September 2001, “the current situation”:
Instead of dis­cussing ret­ri­bu­tion, why don’t we con­sider how we got to this point? Can we see our­selves as oth­ers see us? Can we at least try? I’m dis­ap­pointed and dis­mayed about what has hap­pened, but I can­not spon­sor the short-sightedness of an imme­di­ate cam­paign for more vio­lence and destruc­tion. If what mat­ters most to you is a brief period of “got you back!” then clearly you should not be read­ing this ‘blog. I care far more about how this affects us as human beings than I do about what sort of tac­tics and pol­i­tics make for good retaliation.
Also from 13 September 2001, “survivor”:
“After the crash, and amid the scream­ing, he started to pray out loud. ‘I said, “Jesus save me and these two guys with me.” Nei­ther one of them complained.’”
From 16 September 2001, “the ignorant child”:
I am sad­dened to note that no one has come into our library and asked for any infor­ma­tion on the sit­u­a­tion in the Mid­dle East, or U.S. for­eign pol­icy. But they have all been to Tar­get to stock up on their Amer­i­can flags. The lit­tle plas­tic sou­venirs are wav­ing from many car anten­nae, flap­ping wildly as the wind hits them, as we drive fast and faster to war.
From 18 September 2001, “stop, look, and listen”:
And after you under­stand what we did in Afghanistan, per­haps you can con­sider that I am as proud to be Amer­i­can as any of you are, but I am unwill­ing to pre­tend that “Amer­i­can” can be equated with “good” or “right”. Just like human beings are imper­fect, so are the coun­tries they pop­u­late and run. We have made mis­takes, and although I have shed many tears for the attacks on the World Trade Cen­ter and the Pen­ta­gon, we must bring away from this not a sense of vengeance but a sense of under­stand­ing … or we have lost all those lives for naught.
You may wish to contribute your own story to Make History, a project curated by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

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I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.