It wasn't my intention to write specifically about this day. Or write at all today. I've been reading the blogs I follow, and hearing their stories. I couldn't comment, other than one, hushed, "Wow." What could I add to the recollections- some at home, some at work. Some feeling like the last to know, others telling loved ones even as the disaster unfolded.
Do I have memories? Of course. At first all I knew was "a plane hit the world trade center." Not even what kind of plane, so I assumed here's some dumbass in a private plane that couldn't navigate around the biggest obstacle he'd ever seen. Then the details got filled in. Since patio cushions are so much more important than anything else in life, we had to finish out the day, and I remember intensely not wanting to be there, and I remember my apocalyptic imagination coming out. I remember heading for church afterwards, because I KNEW we'd all be there. I remember it taking forever to get through town because gas had magically went up 60 cents and lines at every station were a half-mile down the street.
Most of all, I remember the next day, and the quietness that told you you never really noticed the noises of air traffic until they weren't there.
And now, ten years have passed, and like the Alamo everyone goes around saying, "never forget."
What is it we're never forgetting?
Is it the horrible fascination of these remembrances, as if spectators at a traffic accident?
Is it an enemy we had nothing against, jealous of what we had, and believing the act was blessed by their god of butchers?
Is it the dead? Perhaps, for the loved ones who lost them.
Is it the burst of faith in God, calling out to Him in the midst of tragedy? That was the first thing that most people forgot.
Is it the heroes? Yes, and it should be. Throwing thoughts of safety aside to help others, which does them infinitely more honor than that accrued by any jackass who wants to kill people he doesn't know in the name of a god that warrants no praise whatsoever.
But the most important thing is the thing that we take from any disaster, any heartache, any loss. And that is, that as Americans, as free people, as human beings, we get back up from them.
We get back up.
And whenever we face a 9-11 in our lives, that is what to never forget. We get back up.
That's right, Abdul. It doesn't matter who you kill. It doesn't matter how many "virgins" you earn, or how many understand the "point " you're trying to make. You don't matter, Achmed.
You don't matter.
A comic book character once said, "We have always defied death just by living, truly living, in death's shadow." We get back up.
Never forget that, Rashid. And never forget, America.