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Monday, September 11, 2006

I actually had a real 9/11 entry in mind for today. I made notes and everything, but then I realized that it didnít measure up to the enormity of the event, or the thousands of lives lost, or the thousands more who risked their own lives on that day, trying to save others. It would have been another political rant, of the type Iíve pretty much given up writing, not because I donít feel as passionately, and not because Iíve given up, but because Iíve said it all so many times. And if Iím going to say it again, I might as well wait until closer to election day.

But I did want to mark the occasion, if only to give myself an excuse to reread what Iíd written in the past. Five years ago, on the day itself, I described my own reaction, and my hopes and fears for the future. I tried to put into perspective the effects of the attacks (and thatís what we called them for a while, until they became simply ď9/11Ē) on different levels of society, near and far. Iím sorry to say that some of my worst fears have come to pass. But some havenít, so I can take some comfort in that.

Four years ago, I went to a baseball game, and I tried to explain why I thought that was an appropriate way to commemorate the first anniversary. It feels a bit odd, after four years, that I thought it necessary to justify how I remembered, but I think the fact that I did remember, in common cause with so many others, gives it meaning. And I never pass up a chance to draw the parallel between baseball and life.

On the second anniversary three years ago, I lamented the way my government had responded, and I also bemoaned the fact that so many of my fellow Americans believed the government, both what they told us and what they did. Mostly I was saddened by the missed opportunity to make a better world.

Two years ago, I wrote about changing a light bulb.

15 September 2006

Cloud banks in gray and white.

Last year on this date, I questioned not the judgment of our leaders for the path theyíve led us down, but their motives. I suggested that they had lied to us for their own benefit, and turned our own desire to make something meaningful out of the aftermath of 9/11 into something closer to what the terrorists would have wanted for the country than anything the heroes would have hoped for. Itís pretty close to the way I feel now, after five years.

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Just for fun, I went back six years, to September 11, 2000, when it was just another day. It really was, too. I complained about working long hours, but I also paused to count a few blessings. I called it an ďaffirmation,Ē and itís a good lesson for me. Itís something I should do more often, because it really does make me feel better.

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September 11, 2001: September 11, 2001
"Eventually, life in the United States will get back to normal, but 'normal' will mean something different than it ever has before."

September 12, 2001: Before and After
"The world continues to turn, even after the day that changed it."

September 13, 2001: From a Distance
"We know a little more now about the capacity of humanity to create evil, but we also know more about our ability to survive, and our power to do great and wonderful things, when circumstances dictate."

September 14, 2001: Proceed With Caution
"A perfectly safe society is a society sanitized of all dissent, where everyone is a suspect before a crime is even committed. That's not America."

September 15, 2001: Normal
"By January 1964, it felt as if LBJ had been president forever, and JFK was a figure from history. With so many lives still deeply affected, we're nowhere near there yet."

September 16, 2001: A New Week
"I could hear moans of pleasure from all around as the chopping, pouring and simmering was so lovingly portrayed."

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