September 11, 2002

9/11/'02: It's honestly very hard

9/11/'02: It's honestly very hard to think of anything to write to do a day like today justice. But all I can say is that the entire vibe of the day (flags and "God Bless America" everywhere I looked in the city and in Hoboken; 24/7 TV coverage) almost took me back in time to 9/11 and the week after. And yes it was sad, and yes the wall-to-wall TV coverage got to be too much, but you know what? I wouldn't want it any other way- are we better off just ignoring it? I think we owe it to the victims, their families, and our great nation itself to give them the recognition they deserve- and that means never forgetting them. And if not forgetting requires the existence of nonstop media coverage, then so be it.
Just as with most blanket criticisms of "The Media," I disagree with this one. If you don't like constant commemorations of the tragedy on TV, I would suggest not watching, and remembering 9/11 in your own way. I remember the first week or two after September 11 I was glued to the TV virtually nonstop- because there was news being uncovered at all times, and also because I knew I was watching history unfold before my eyes- a cathartic event in American history had occurred, and right outside my window at that. I think, in place of anger, sadness, or horror (those would all come later), I became obsessed with finding out exactly why this had happened, so I resolved not to turn off the TV until I had learned all that I possibly could about that horrible day.
So I learned, and I observed, and I realized what exactly was so great about this country of ours. As a result my identity (as a human being, as a Jew, as an American) has been become stronger- just as our country has become stronger as well. That's why when I see an American flag on someone's window or car, when others would scoff and think "ugh, so jingoistic!", I smile. And when I hear someone play the "but" game ("the 9/11 attacks were horrible, but..." "The Palestinians really should stop the suicide bombings, but...") I just want to shake them and remind them of that horrible day. So to the Chomskys of the world, I say, God help you. If you can continue to hate America after this past year, I guess you're beyond help.
So after visiting Hoboken's Pier A earlier this evening (site of a park that was formerly in the shadow of the Twin Towers) I will say Kaddish for the victims and then go to bed. And I'll be thankful that Osama and Co. have for the most part been kept at bay for the past year, and hopeful that that remains the case for as long as possible. Tomorrow we will return to our normal lives once again- but again, let's not ever forget. Some people took their flags down at some point between last September 11 and today. Tonight, I put a new one up.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 11, 2002 11:43 PM
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