There is something that’s been bothering me on this day, and it’s something that I’ve noticed happening for a couple years now:
This year, I’ve been seeing more and more of this, people pouring out a simple one or two sentences, sometimes all in caps, reminding me that I need to remember the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the thwarted attack on United 93. As if I could forget. The events of September 11 will likely remain with me for the rest of my life – I can remember that day as clearly as I remember last week, and in the ensuing eight years, it has changed our world far more than any event that I can remember.
These simple status messages just don’t cut it for me. I’m sorry, but from where I’m sitting, status messages are more about the person than anything else, and I’ve always seen these sort of messages as a simple reaffirmation that whichever person posts something like this, they want everyone else to see that they remember the day, that I’m honoring their memory in the maximum 140 characters and that with that out of the way, I can resume the next 364 days without issue.
What a fucking shallow thing to do.
September 11th was an incredibly complicated and vile act. Just under 3,000 people have died as a result of the attacks, either as passengers on the airplanes, bystanders or rescue personnel. The attacks were planned well in advance by Al Queda, and those plans were spurred on by larger actions on the part of many individuals and nations. In turn, it has unleashed some of the absolute best and some of the absolute worst this nation has to offer upon the world.
I am saddened by what happened. I remember the absolute horror that registered while I watched online as the news poured in. I remember the confusion and the terror of the unknown, wondering if another airplane would come down somewhere else. I can remember the smoke rising and the countless pictures that poured in. It’s something that I don’t think that I could forget if I wanted to. In the meantime, we have launched two major conflicts around the world, changed legislation, opened prisons and distrust anyone with a water bottle on an airplane. Every single one is a pointed reminder of what happened eight years ago. I can’t forget, and I refuse to simply honor those who died on one single day. They deserve better, especially in this nation with such a short attention span.
We are reminded every day that something terrible happened, and I am so tired of being told to support the soldiers overseas, otherwise I’m unpatriotic, I’m tired of the idea that any opinion that differs from the larger public consciousness is nothing short of treason in some people’s eyes, I’m tired of the polarization that has infected this country and I’m tired of 9-11 and the memory of those innocent people being used, manipulated into serving an administration’s agenda. I’m tired that despite all of the remembering that is going on, we’ve largely forgotten why we’re in the situations that we’re in today.
Today, we watched the skies fall and change the world. I’ll never forget that.