What happened to Linz's post? I could have sworn I saw it here yesterday.
Anyways, I'm riding home. The Foo Fighters' Times Like These comes on the radio. I love that song. It's got a rocking riff and oblique verses. But when the chorus comes along there's little mistaking what it's about:
It's times like these you learn to live again.
It's times like these you give and give again.
It's times like these you learn to love again.
It's times like these, time and time again.
Yes, it's about the defining moment of our times. And sure I realize there are other Sept 11-inspired tunes. Bruce Springsteen wrote an entire album about it called The Rising. But that's a wimpy-sounding set of tuneless tunes that I can't even listen to, it's too depressing. Then there's that Toby Keith number and other flag-waving, we're gonna kick some major Arab ass country ditties. That simply doesn't do the tragedy justice in my mind.
My son and I were at Ground Zero Thanksgiving 2001. This was before they set up bleachers and shuttle buses for convenient viewing. There was a makeshift fence around it, plastered with hand-lettered calls out to anyone who might have seen their loved ones. We stood among a teeming crowd of gawkers in abject, reverent silence. If someone's cell had rang it might have cost them their life. There was simply nothing you could say. Strangers hugged one another. Acrid smoke wafted by. It was the most moving moment of my life, one seared forever in my soul.
Which I suppose is why it pisses me off so much to see Sept 11 being kicked around like a can in Congress. There's all this partisan finger-pointing about what was or wasn't done to avert it. This misses the point entirely. It's not why it occured, it's that it did. And immediately afterwards we found out what we as a nation are made of. People came together. Flags appeared everywhere. No planes overhead, no sitcoms, no dramas, no commercials, no songs on the radio. Nothing but non-stop coverage of what was happening in lower Manhattan and the at the Pentagon. That and silent nods.
What they ought to be debating is whether Sept 11 should be designated as a national day of remembrance. The trick is how to avoid it being commercialized in a free society such as ours.
I drove by the Pentagon recently. It is surrounded by armed soldiers and antiaircraft batteries. Maybe it's a little late for all of that. And maybe it was a little too much to expect that fleeting bit of unity and genuine emotion to live on.
Anna, I changed my mind about posting that. But I did agree with your comment.
And yeah, I felt a strange sense of hopefulness about unity after 9/11, especially when I went to NYC in Feb 2001. I didn't know how powerful the scene would be to me. All the letters, all the shrines. I bawled in public, into the chest of the then-boyfriend.
I might be in a minority of liberals here, but I don't think we should worry so much about pre 9/11 ignorance of warning signs. It's so easy to say that we had this coming now that it happened, but I understand why both the Clinton & Dubya administrations didn't aggressively address the threats.
I wish they would focus on how not to let this happen in the future, which I personally believe begins with much more pro-active, respectful, cautious foreign relations. It's like we're a bunch of kids who don't understand that no matter how much we stomp our feet, we can't change what happened.
by Linz at April 8, 2004 9:58 AM
Wait, you posted something yesterday Linz?
Watching Condi testify now. This is all so sad. Of course 9/11 COULD have been prevented. Was it? No. Should anyone in government be blamed for it happening? No. They didn't fly planes into any buildings. When someone has there car stolen, the police don't yell at them for not having lo-jack. This all just seems so petty and counterproductive.
by mg at April 8, 2004 10:55 AM
I agree with Linz and MG. What does this bickering prove? Hindsight is 20/20 and so on …
by MrBlank at April 8, 2004 2:42 PM
Definitely pointless. But more than that I guess I feel like this whole commission hearing thing kind of desecrates Sept 11. Or maybe the word is cheapens. At any rate I don't like it and I wish it would stop. So much for my serious side.
As for NYC in the aftermath it was quite powerful. But the odd thing was my relatives didn't want to go. They were saying that Ground Zero was a tourist trap.
by anna at April 8, 2004 6:20 PM
Sounds like they were scared that what you experienced *wouldn't* be there. I worried a little about that, too. The country's reaction to 9/11 definitely gave me hope, though. It was amazing to see everyone come together.
by jean at April 9, 2004 3:40 AM
You may find it interesting to check the pages in the field of...
by las vegas at December 22, 2004 1:36 AM