Monday, September 11, 2006

This Day

Today I am sitting in my pajamas in my parents house in NYC, where five years ago I yearned to be.

Five years ago I turned on the radio in my apartment in Flat City to hear the expressway travel times so that I could decide what route to take to work. Instead I heard the oddly detached voice of the NPR announcer say, "and eyewitness reports confirm that another plane has just hit the world trade towers..."


Not knowing what else to do, I got dressed and left for work. I was on the cell phone with my father when he saw a void and a cloud of dust where a skyscraper had stood. We spent the morning trying to locate my mom, who sometimes went to that area for work - fortunately she was nowhere nearby. I emailed friends from high school I had not talked to in years. Are you okay? Is your family okay? Miraculously, they were. All I wanted was to be there. To hug my parents. To touch my city, my wounded, aching, fiercely defiant city. To get on a plane and be there. Which, of course, I could not do.

Five years later, I hate what has become of this day. A horrible opportunity for our country to see how we were perceived around the world and work to change that image was perverted and twisted into an excuse for war. A war, I firmly believe, which has only turned more hearts and minds against us and created more terrorists. The lives of countless Iraqi civillians matter - as much as the lives of 2996 people who died five years ago. The lives of the lgbt victims Mombian writes about matter just as much as the lives of those unnamed - to us - Iraqis. And so do the lives of the window cleaners, illegal immigrants, stock brokers, firefighters, flight attendants and many others whose stories go told and untold. And a day for mourning and self-reflection has become a day for jingoism and self-congratulation.

Today is a beautiful sunny day in New York, as that day was.

ETA: Check out this poem that Sophia posted.

7 Comments:

Blogger George said...

So very true. Thanks for that thought provoking post.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

*nods and agrees*

1:32 PM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

It's uncanny, how much today feels like that day five years ago. Sunny weather, clear blue skies ...

We're all still recovering. Even five years later. Still.

Terrific post, A-S.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

It's such a strange day. I keep looking for words to put to it and coming up short. Thanks for yours, Art.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Gandksmom said...

Oh Art (do you know how hard it is for me to remember to call you that here?) you say what I feel so eloquently. I hate what they are doing to this day. Thanks for saying what I can't seem to!

2:53 PM  
Blogger julia said...

Excellent post, a-s. Sums it all up exactly.

Funny, Kerri, I thought the same thing when I woke up this morning. "There's not a cloud in the sky and it's the same colour blue as it was five years ago...."

5:09 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Well-said.

6:51 PM  

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