The Anniversary

This is a difficult topic for me, and one that I hope I won’t talk about again for a very long time. As the anniversary approaches, I’ve been thinking more and more about how to commemorate it. I’ve decided a few things:
  • I won’t be watching the “specials” on the news or any other channel.
  • I won’t be going to any candlelight vigils, prayer services or sing-alongs.
  • I won’t be going to the Pentagon.

It’s easy to say what I won’t be doing on Wednesday. It’s not so easy to say why, or what I will do. I think I was more affected by last year than I noticed before. We were at my parents’ house for dinner last Thursday, and we ended up talking about that day, what happened when, and where we were. I started talking about watching Aaron Brown on CNN standing on the roof of the CNN building as the towers fell behind him. I couldn’t even start talking about it. I got choked up. I’m tearing up now just writing about it. I can remember every detail of that day, down to what was on the floor of the sunroom when I came home, how empty the house seemed because Jen and Max weren’t home, and how thin our walls felt. I was scared. I live and work (the path is wide, and I live very close to work) under the approach path to Dulles Airport. Every day I see planes fly over my house and work less than 500 feet above my head. Every day since the planes started flying again, I cringe a little when a plane flies low overhead.

Memorials are built long after events are over. It doesn’t feel like a year has gone by. It feels like only a couple months, and apparently, the scab I’d grown over my feelings isn’t as thick as I thought it was. In the year since, too many things have happened connected to that day that make me ill. It started with the first commercials on TV for commemorative pins, and durable vinyl car flags (easy to install and long-lasting). It kept going with my growing distrust in our administration, and the effectiveness of our government in general. It’s gotten to the point that it’s hard to keep the events separated. It’s hard to separate the enormity of the attacks from the completely different enormity of the mess-ups, the lies and shameless profiteering.

How do I memorialize something that I haven’t been able to forget? How do I memorialize something still burned so sharply into the back of my head that I remember every little detail of that day? How can I do watch anything about that day on television without being sick with wondering who’s making money off of it?

I’ve decided that since I can’t answer those questions, and I haven’t come to terms with my own feelings on it, that I’m not going to say anything on this site on Wednesday. I haven’t decided if I’m going to take the site down, or just not post, but there won’t be any new content here. At least for this year, I’m going to spend September 11th celebrating a holiday of a religion that’s not my own. Rosh HaShana is the Jewish New Year, a time of self-examination and repentance. I don’t know what I’ll find, or what I’ll repent of. I won’t tell you that you should do what I’m doing, or think what I’m thinking. You deal with it your way; you say what you want to say. For me, I’m not going to say anything more until Max is old enough to understand, and then I’ll hopefully have something to tell him.

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