Friday, 9/9/11

It’s the weekend of the 10th anniversary of September 11th and I really didn’t want to be in New York. I want to be someplace far away where there’s no television blasting wall-to-wall coverage, no extra police presence, no threats of terror threats.

All this is probably why my brain feels like it’s shut down. Why I feel like I’m under siege.

September used to be a pleasant month for me. I looked forward to the Labor Day weekend, the changing leaves, the inevitable slowing down of life’s hectic pace. The days go by smoothly until the 11th rises like an unexpected roadblock, one that some years feels easier to go round. Not this one. I feel anxious; I want to hide.

While I didn’t lose anyone in the World Trade Center, I feel deeply for and empathize with those who did. In one week, I lost a significant friendship and before I could even begin to grieve, I received word about my mother. We had spoken just hours before. Seven months later, my grandmother was also gone. These losses changed my life in many fundamental ways.

September 11th also changed our lives. As I write, police sirens screech in the distance. It could be for reasons totally unrelated but it’s hard not to connect it to the upcoming anniversary.

An unexpected consequence of that day is that flying, in particular, is not as pleasurable as it used to be. A simple thing like opening a bank account is now subject to deeper levels of scrutiny, and the government has broader powers to spy on us and intercept our communications. But are we truly any safer?

Life has returned to Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site but it’s difficult to see it and not remember.

A 9/11 Memorial, a tribute to those who fell will open to the families on Sunday and to the public on Monday, September 12th. Maybe I’ll visit.

Getting There:

If you’re in the New York City area and want to visit, passes must be obtained before you go and can be  obtained by going to the website.

The best way to get there is by public transportation. Several subway (A, C, J, M, R, Z, 4, and 5) and bus lines (M5, M20 and M22) stop within walking distance, and the E, 1, 2, and 3 and New Jersey PATH trains to go directly to the WTC terminal.

Hours: Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

8 comments on “Friday, 9/9/11

  1. I can image it does feel like a city under siege, with a pending threat the vice-president has said is real. To be right there on this significant 10th anniversary must feel like a surreal experience. What really gets me is hearing the stories of the children who remember. Tears me up so…

    I once asked, is our relationship so damaged that people would want to do us this kind of harm. It just feels as if we’re constantly on guard and at war. I never believed, economically, that we’d recovered from the tragedy, even though there were ongoing reports that we weren’t in a recession. Georgia residents have been financially devastated by that single event, and then came the house market fiasco. While I didn’t lose a loved one in the attack on America, people have lost so much still, because one source connects to the other and the dominoes have fallen, slowly and surely.

    I saw Obama’s speech last evening and heard the cheers from policymakers and it sounded okay, I guess. I’m not all that impressed with speeches. The real work comes when they go to work. (And I’ve so veered off from 9.11, huh).

    I do wonder though, how do we get back to that security we once felt and knew or whether we’ll begin to resemble countries where soldiers walk the streets ready for battle. With terrorists, we’re at war with a mindset, you know. How does that end when there’s a continuum of breeding these kinds of minds?

  2. You’ve asked a very important question — how does that end when there’s a continuum of breeding these kinds of minds? I don’t know.
    We lost our moral compass a long time ago. I guess it was the moment when we began financing ‘freedom fighters,’ killing leaders and replacing them with puppets who would assure their loyalty. It goes back to the 60s and beyond. The difference now is that the president openly identified who they were going to get. Whereas before, this kind of stuff was done but discretely, 9/11 made it okay to say it out loud and we feel absolutely justified to not just ratchet up the language but the slaughter.
    It is surreal, especially being in NYC. I’m really trying to keep my head down. Tonight, I noticed that they’ve already started stopping and checking buses and trucks going into the city. Seeing the children tears me up too – one of the reasons I turn off the tv when I see any of it. It just brings back all those feelings, the panic, the terror, the helplessness.
    There is evil in the world, for sure. I guess one day we’ll return to ‘normal’ whatever that may be. A new normal.
    Re the speech: Maybe he said it but it wasn’t last night. I wish the president would remind everyone how technology has changed the way we work and will continue to do so. That plus the shipping of jobs overseas. The countries that have a cheaper standard of living and can produce the goods and services that we consume will control our future. Those jobs will never return.

  3. Yes, I do believe the relationship went very sour with Middle Easterners, at least moreso than it already was. What I don’t get is why are we trying to kill Momar Gadhafi. Isn’t this something the United Nations have some say in?

  4. It’s a tough time all around… I understand the anxiety and the sadness for all of us… I mourn every year and I wonder when we can all find ways to get along in this world…
    By the way, for no clear reason, I no longer get your blog posts… I thought you had taken the weekend off until I got here and saw posts that never showed up in my box. I tried resubscribing but feedburner informs me I’m already a subscriber… like duh! and where are my friend’s posts? 🙂

Comments are closed.