I watched 9/11 last night. Thanks to TiVo, I didn’t have to watch it Sunday night after driving all day, but could wait until I was ready for it. I wasn’t, but I watched anyway. It was unbelievable. I cried like a child several times. The best/worst moment was the brothers reunion at the firehouse. The raw relief in their embrace was magical and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I appreciate CBS’s choice to air it, and as much as I normally despise network television, they did an excellent job conveying the tragedy of the day without showing us the gore that we all knew existed. The sound of the impact of falling bodies was enough. The mad dash to get out of the collapsed trade center only made the fate of those trapped on higher floors that much more real and painful.
I hope that, in the years to come, they show this documentary in schools when they talk about this time. I think it captured the moment for not only the firefighters in New York (how would I know, but the unions say they’re happy with it), but for me. The impotent anger of Tony, stuck at the firehouse with nothing to do but watch the news: that was me, stuck in my living room watching CNN, with no way of knowing what was going to happen next, powerless to do anything but watch.
I’m sure that maybe he’s embarrassed my some of the things he said in the days and weeks following, as am I. But, I decided a couple months ago that I was going to leave my posts from September up as a reminder. I say stupid things, and most of them unrelated to tragedy. I’m especially stupid in the process of figuring things out. I said some stupid and embarrassing things on this site right after it happened, and well, I’m ok with that. People all over the world said stupid things, and that’s just part of the process of coming to grips with the world changing with no warning. I think keeping a site like this is to give a picture of ourselves, and my posts from then were a picture of me at the time, as 9/11 is a picture of the guys in the firehouse. The picture may be embarrassing at times, but that’s life. I want desparately to go back and edit those old posts and take out the things I know I shouldn’t have said, or the assumptions I had that don’t make sense now. But, that would be dishonest to the time and to myself. I felt the need at the time to post them, so they must have felt important at the time, and for that reason, I’m leaving them as is.
Let’s hope we never have to go through this again, and if we do, at least I’ll keep my mouth shut until we know what’s going on, and have had time to process and come to terms with what’s happened.