I remember where I was. I was watching tv when the second plane came out of nowhere and Peter Jennings lost his cool on air. I was scared, I had nightmares, and I prayed for the victims and their families.
But 11 years later, I think I know less about 9/11 than on that first horrible day. I’ve had over a decade of misinformation, jingoism, and illogical cries of war hurled at me, and every anniversary of that terrible date begins to wear on me more and more. This has gone from being a real tragedy to some spin doctor’s modern version of Remember the Maine! replete with yellow journalism.
I believe in the founding principles of my country. I vote. I pray to Columbia that our nation lives up to the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I celebrate the 4th of July. I honor our troops and our vets. I care about my fellow citizens. I remember the tragedy of that day. I am a Patriotic Pagan. Too patriotic for some folks.
I just can’t deal with 9/11 anymore though. I feel like it’s been taken away from those of us who lived through that day and belongs to political propagandists and advertising gurus. It no longer represents the people who died that day, or the political and financial decisions that led up to it, or the unity we felt afterwards. Those initial tragic deaths have had thousands more piled upon them by our own government engaging in ineffective and potentially illegal warfare. The tragedy and death toll has grown too thick to bear contemplating.
When Osama bin Laden was killed almost ten years after 9/11, it seemed an empty act after all that time, and after all this death. I almost felt angry I was supposed to have a positive response, after all these years of emotional manipulation by the government and advertising industry.
I remember that day. I remember being glued to the television, watching people jump, watching journalists lose their cool, watching the buildings fall. Wondering if there were more targets. Waiting to hear if CNN or the CDC had been hit in Atlanta. Worrying that Muslims in the US would face increased hate crimes and discrimination. Worrying that this was just the first wave of an invading force. Worrying that we were about to descend into WW3.
What I remember about that day, and what the media keeps shoving at me are two different things. I am tired of 9/11. Of memorials and tributes and monuments and television specials. I may be a Patriotic Pagan, but for goodness sake, can’t we just be left alone to grieve this year without the jingoistic flag waving being shoved in our face? Just this once?
That said, I think a memorial to Flight 93 is fitting and encourage people to donate.
Every year on 9/11 I say prayers for those who died as a result of this tragedy, and I listen to this: