September 11, 2016


Like any historical event, this day, fifteen years ago, is seared in my memory.  I was fortunate - no one that I knew was directly harmed by the terror attacks that day.  I was not inconvenienced in any way by the sudden restrictions on travel, my finances weren't harmed by the closing of the markets, I didn't have tickets to an event that got canceled, nor did I need to go to any location that had been closed for security purposes.  I was able to immediately reach everyone that came to mind, from friends in the attack areas, to military members stationed all around the world.  My 'world' was intact - but our world was shattered.

Having my family and friends accounted for was little comfort for the rage, fear, and overwhelming sadness caused by what happened to our country that day.  I like the rage.  Still have it, and am likely to carry it to my grave.  I don't care that it causes me to make mass generalizations about certain cultures.  I don't care that it is probably unhealthy.  It is the rage that keeps me on my toes and ensures that I won't become complacent.  
It is odd how quickly we acclimated to the everyday threat of terror.  And how passive we have become to the hundreds of small attacks that have been committed since 9/11.  I hate that my children are growing up in a world that once seemed so foreign to me.  But, I can't change that reality, so I educate them, make sure they remember, make sure they understand the threat potential, and we adapt to this new reality.
I am still so sad about the lives lost, and lives changed by 9/11.  Maybe it is because I didn't have a personal stake in it - other than being a patriotic American.  I don't have a specific person to remember fondly.  No good times to reminisce about.  I have the images of that day, and the weeks that followed.  I have the anger and the fear that this could happen to my family or friends one day.  
If you Google, looking for a nice photo for a 9/11 post, you can find thousands of images of New York, the Twin Towers, and every manner of flag, cross, angel, and hero emblazoned alongside.  It takes some work to find similar images of the other sites that were attacked that day.  If there are, or were, graphic art to remember those sites, the search results have been buried beneath pages upon pages of amateur internet sleuthing diagrams purporting all manner of conspiracy theories.  While not equal in size, numbers affected, or breadth of television coverage, those lost in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, are who I choose to honor today.


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