Thursday, September 11, 2008

a day like any other

The library is the same today as it's always been...books are being checked in and out, children are running through the stacks, the toilet in the men's room is overflowing, the mouse for computer #2 has stopped working, and people are laughing - even on a day so heavy with emotion.

Business as usual can be a comfort but I had to go into the library director's office this morning and remind her to ask the janitor to lower the flag to half staff. She seemed surprised in an "Oh! is that today?" sort of way, as blasé about it as if she had forgotten to pick up her drycleaning. So much for a sunrise-to-sunset was late morning before anyone got around to it.

People shuffled past my desk as they always do, sometimes stopping to ask for help or just to sign in for a computer. A woman spent three hours putting together an online jigsaw puzzle, I went to the basement to get movies out of storage, people asked for today's newspaper, and it was 2 o'clock in the afternoon before anyone even mentioned what happened on this date. Jimmy B. came in, more solemn than usual. He stood on a rooftop in New York City 7 years ago today and took pictures of the towers crumbling down. He packed up his life and moved back to Ohio not long after. Each September, he totes around a little black photo album filled with images of unspeakable horror, of the moment the world changed forever, of the day that reminded us all that we should love and live like there is no tomorrow.

The kids came in after school at 3 and I wondered if their teachers mentioned 9/11 at all, seeing how history classes have become a minefield of political correctness and guilt. News moves so fast, facts get distorted and suddenly no one knows the truth anymore, so what's the point? Teenagers check their Myspace pages and move through a world with no sharp edges - they're too young to know life as it was before thousands of innocents were murdered on American soil.

The great forgetting has begun, and although I suppose I should be reassured with such glaring evidence that life does indeed go on, I've felt very alone all day in my remembering.


Brandon said...

The flag's not even at half-staff in front of the building where I work.

Wild Deuce said...

You're not alone, Breda.

We gave the kids a day off school today.. Got up early and watched the memorials on TV. We had our own "mini" memorial with each of us (those old enough) sharing where we were at that moment. We listened to Alan Jackson's song before packing up to head to the range. Enjoyed the beautiful September day here in Indiana with endless rows of corn ... felt so safe from the hassles and dangers of the world. We went to dinner and now we'll watch 9/11 (2002) by the Naudet brothers and finish with United 93.

BobG said...

"I've felt very alone all day in my remembering."

You're not alone; there are a lot of us who remember it well. Some of tend to burn a candle inside, rather than in public.
We will not forget.

dr mac said...

We will never forget. You will never be alone.

Miz Minka said...

You're definitely not alone.

I hope to God it doesn't take another attack like that for the sheeples of America to wake up. The threat is still real.

Heath said...

Before I left work this AM, I hoisted a brand new flag, and then lowered her down to half mast.

Through out the course of the day, I delivered stuff to over 80 stops. I think maybe 3 of them knew what I was talking about when I'd make a "Can you believe it's been 7 years" comment.


Buckshot said...


Some of us will NEVER forget.

For some it is even more "in your face" like me, since 9/11 is my Birthday.

The rest don't know (bad parents and teachers) or don't care (the "what's in it for me" people).

The first can be corrected with enough work, but the NEA will msot likely kill it before it matures.

The second won't realize it till it is too late, and it is THEM caught in the crossfire.

You keep your "stuff" together and stay out of condition white, you TRY to get your friends there too. After a while you just write the sheeple off, and go about your business the best you can.

Your administrator is a special case, she should have had the halyard looped about here neck and hauled up the pole and "two-blocked" for the time the flag was to fly.

Not a good outlook on many of the people, but you do the best you can for you and yours and you just keep on going from there.


Ted said...

Don't know about Ohio, but here in Massachusetts they covered the attack. #2 son came home sad. There's a memorial on the town common to the three people from here who were on flight 77.

Norm White said...

You are definitely not alone.

I walked around today on the edge of breaking out in a fit of tears and sobs. I work on a military installation and it wasn't a very 'chipper' day around there.

7 years ago, I had just left the fire department and EMS service, I think it hit me even harder when I saw/heard about it. I spent days as an emotional wreck, could barely work. Spent most of my nights crying myself to sleep.

And every year, I feel almost just as bad and it seems now that it's getting worse because so many are forgetting. I can't watch anything on TV about it, I can't really talk about it without getting emotional. I've walked out of classes that I've had that dealt with terrorism. Because of the topic, things naturally led to the 9/11 events.

Images and movies of this heinous act of terrorism should be shown on an almost daily basis to remind people of what we are doing over seas, why we are doing it and that if we keep going the way we're going in this country (forgetting about it) it's going to happen again.

Yes, I do feel sorry for the families, and I know they had a hard time moving on, but they are some of the ones who should be screaming the most. We CAN'T forget. We MUST persist. We can NOT loose this fight.

jigsaw said...

you weren't alone in your memory ... even down here in Australia there was thoughts and prayers expressed. Only one person (of the dozen who left comments on my blog) said that they had not remembered and had seen nothing on it in the media ... the others, like me, could never forget.

Don Gwinn said...

You're not alone. We discussed the day today in class. You have to remember that a sixth-grader this year was in pre-school on 9/11/2001. They have no real memory of it.

We talked about why people on the first three flights didn't fight back and why the people on Flight 93 did.

phlegmfatale said...

I remembered it all day. I've talked about it other times in the intervening years, but today was one of contemplation for me. A day to appreciate, to pray for souls and to pray for the strength to make the most of my own remaining life. Thanks for this post, though. We can never remember TOO much.

DoubleTapper said...

Here in Israel, we remember the attacks of 911. We also remember the reactions of our “Peace Partners”.

DoubleTapper, blogging on Guns Politics Defense from Israel

Anonymous said...

We were encouraged to telecommute instead of going in to the Pentagon, so I supposedly was working on a report due soon. But I was streaming the Pentagon Channel all day as the memorial was dedicated right outside my office (Then, and now again).
My keyboard got a little wet. At day's end, I was exhausted.


Matt G said...

"The great forgetting has begun, and although I suppose I should be reassured with such glaring evidence that life does indeed go on, I've felt very alone all day in my remembering."

Beautifully put.

I spoke to roughly 40 people yesterday, and not one of them said a word aloud about the day. I did notice the boys at the elementary school putting the flag to half-staff, but didn't discuss it with them; I wonder if the parents watching it all thought about it.

I was shaken, that day 7 years ago, and being shaken to that magnitude doesn't leave a person. I may occasionally pay no attention to the ache of that day, but it's never left me.

knitalot3 said...

I will never forget. I put my flag up at dawn and took it down at dusk.

Scouting groups in our area put out flags on holidays as a fund raiser. It was very emotional for me to drive down flag lined streets on the way to work.

I watched a documentary last night with my eleven year old son. It was nine amateur photographers and their experience and pictures. It was very moving.

It was very hard to explain to my son why anyone would do such a thing.

X said...

I didn't sleep last night as we transitioned from the 11th to the 12th. To the point that I went and slept on the couch so The Wife could get some sleep. I knew why to. The attacks still resonate in me and I can remember the jumping out of bed from a dead sleep for weeks after the attack. Nothing else in my life that didn't involve me directly has left the impression as that day. My first love has always been America. I say that truly and with no hokeyness. She has always been the beautiful women that everyone desires but few have the opportunity to sit with at the dinner party called life. My life has changed a lot in these last seven years, but my memory has not. The dread of that day, the silence of the drive home from work, and the tears that flowed that night alone in my apartment for those lost. But perhaps most of is the justice that I desire to this day.