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365

365

I've been putting off writing about this even though it is so much on my mind. I even wrote and deleted and wrote and saved several times over but never got to the end, nor to the point, of what I wanted to say.

And now, with last night's dream, I think it's better to purge it.

In a month it will be here, that dreaded anniversary. Sure, it's just another day. There will be school and work and probably grocery shopping and I think there is a PTA meeting that night. Life goes on.

I'm not afraid. It's not fear that is circling like a vulture in my brain. It's dread. I do not want to relive that feeling.

There is no way to avoid the anniversary. It will be on your tv, your radio, in your newspapers, on your blogs, written in indelible ink on the huge calendar page that seems to be hovering over us.

It's not even the feeling of that specific day, because most of those hours were spent in a state of disbelief. It's everything that followed.

I dreamed last night of the funeral service I attended for a bomb squad member killed that day. Of all the moments revolving around September 11th, even the first realization of what was happening, even the news of Pete Ganci's death, even watching the towers crumble, the service for Dan Richards will always be the most surreal moment of my life.

The combination of the bomb-sniffing dogs making sure the church was safe, the ever present helicopters, the bagpipes and the secret-service type people standing on my neighbor's porch with rifles poised on their shoulders made the day almost like a dream.

Last night I dreamed that the guns went off. The dogs were barking. The helicopters were droning in my ears and I couldn't hear a thing anyone was saying. People were running from the church, screaming and waving their hands in the air. I couldn't find my kids. I rushed into the church, into flames and rubble and body parts strewn about like candy wrappers in a movie theater. There were fingers under a pew and spilled blood on the seats and the floor was sticky with bodily fluids and tears. I thought I saw my kids at the altar, so I crawled through the wreckage to get there but when I approached I saw that it was effigies of my children, hanging from the ceiling fan of the church. A man playing Danny Boy on the bagpipes stood his ground, clouds of dust swirling around him, and then the ceiling collapsed and sunlight came through that one spot. I dropped to my knees and starting crying. The bagpipe player came and lifted me off my feet and carried me outside, where ambulances and black limousines waited to take the dead and injured away. And then I woke up.

It's all very much on my mind. How fast has this year gone? A year that has been filled with the war on terror and all of its rhetoric, a year of memorial services and digging for dead, a year of flag waving and bin Laden hunting and the stripping down of our rights, and now months of waiting for another war to be declared.

Are we worse off or better off because of the war on terror?

Are we any closer to winning this war, one year later?

Has the world really changed or have we, as people, changed?

How are you going to spend that day?

Me, I think I'll take the kids out of school on September 11th and spend the entire day in an arcade, away from television and radio and school assemblies.

Comments

I can tell you I don't want to be in work that day, taking Christmas card orders. I don't want to have to pretend like I'm in the mood.

It astounds me that a year has passed already. It's been a year, but everytime I look at the skyline it boggles my mind. Outside my living room window or entering/exiting the Lincoln Tunnel, there is a big gap there that reminds me of what we lost that day. And no, it wasn't just buildings.

If given the choice, I think I'd like to spend the day with my family. I'd try to avoid the news, but eventually I'd be overcome, I think.

Anyway, first thing this morning. Sorry.

I've been called for jury duty that day. It's probably the one day I don't want to be anywhere near a federal building here in DC.

i thought about keeping them home from school that day too. i'm going to have to ask the school what they are planning on doing for the day. when all this happened, it was nothing like it was in NYC. The president was here. visiting our elementary schools and after he boarded his plane, the schools went into lock-down. it was impossible to get through to the schools by phone, every parent was calling to see f they could get their kids and we couldn't. lock-down. must wait they said after you finally got through.
After i talk to the teachers on meet the teacher night this thursday, i will decide what i am going to do. i don't want them sitting there watching the news on school tv's.

There are rumors in corporate NYC that most companies here will close down for that day. Not every year, but this year. I hope they do. Last year, my husband was in midtown, with all exits out of Manhattan closed. I just wanted him home, here, with me. I hope that's where he is for this horrible anniversary.

A year? It seems much, much longer and yet it seems like just last week. It'll be a Wednesday, so I'll probably be at work.

The day after my usual weekly night of printing in the darkroom.
I wonder what images will emerge.

I'll be at the movies...or in a park...or maybe on a hike with some CD's and a book.

I think that as a country we're worse off as we continue to move towards this imperialistic idea...attempting to get everyone else before they get us.

I'm still not comfortable with the concept "war on terror" - Wars involve countries. Terrorism involves individuals likely not involved with a country's government. Its such a slippery slope.

That said...I don't feel unsafe in my community. I'm not scared to fly. And life is still good. One year later and I'm still the man I used to be.

Unless my company decides to give us all the day off, I will be right here at my desk.

The world did not change. The world is exactly as it was. People did not change. Only our perceptions have changed.

I suppose there's no way to avoid the public commemorations of the day, but I have no intention of changing anything about my daily routine that day.

sometimes divided by color(they're white, i'm yellow, sometimes green too) my parents decided we'd go to an interracial candle service/vigil.

i know what you mean when you say it feels surreal that a whole year has passed because i can still remember the numbness, the something stuck in my throat feeling, the tears, the fear, the panic.

i only have to close my eyes to relive that moment.

and when i do, and when the tears fall and the sobs come, a part of me weeps for the courageous heroes i came to know that day, for the cynical side of me that took such tragedy to tap into to realize that the world could still encapsule love, yes, even despite all the bullshit that was going on.

i know because some part of me looked at life differently, because some part of me, like many others, changed.

i know it sounds stupid but i'm actually a little afraid to fly next week, it's stupid i know. it's prolly the safest ever right now. some of it is superficial, like terrorist or some asshole deciding to be funny, yet some of it is also a lot more beneath the surface.

will you mark me because i am from a muslim country? will you hate me just because? will every step i take be under scrutiny? will i ever be safe?

but you see, that's just what i'm supposed to do, and a part of me knows that i'll be okay no matter what happens. that somehow, somewhere, humanity will still prevail, but yet the one thing i really want this year is just peace.

please just let there be peace.

damn, that was long, sorry.

It's ok, Rach. You're always welcome to take as much space as you need here.

I think we're worse off actually - for those people who have lost family memebers, whether they were in WTC or the Pentagon or in Kabul at a family wedding, or who have thier loved ones locked up in a jail despite no charges being made, or who have had their dorm rooms raided for anti-bush posters - there's been too much loss, too much pain.

I'm not going to turn this into a rant - the people who have suffered deserve much, much better.

It would be nice to think on that day. To reflect. To take time out and realise there is so much more to life than political point scoring, and fear mongering, and hatred and ignorance. That people's families matter, that individuals matter, that life itself is important. And should be important to everyone, irrespective of whether you're from Milwauke or Uzbekistan.

I think we're worse off actually - for those people who have lost family memebers, whether they were in WTC or the Pentagon or in Kabul at a family wedding, or who have thier loved ones locked up in a jail despite no charges being made, or who have had their dorm rooms raided for anti-bush posters - there's been too much loss, too much pain.

I'm not going to turn this into a rant - the people who have suffered deserve much, much better.

It would be nice to think on that day. To reflect. To take time out and realise there is so much more to life than political point scoring, and fear mongering, and hatred and ignorance. That people's families matter, that individuals matter, that life itself is important. And should be important to everyone, irrespective of whether you're from Milwauke or Uzbekistan.

I don't want it to sound like I'm being patronising, or being a wimp on your behalf, but it sounds like you might benefit from talking to someone properly about it. Really vivid dreams are one of the things they tell us to look out for after traumatic events.

Sorry if I'm being rude.

I heard something on NPR this afternoon and started thinking about it. I would like to have a normal day which would defiantly show that that act of horror did not destroy me. I have one class that day, and I shall teach it without regard to the date. Of course, I am sure the university will have a special service.

I am also trying to put it into perspective with other great acts of inhumanity. Today is the anniversary of Hiroshima. Need I say more?

As a race, we are not all that great.

I think we are worse off because of the war on terror. It has people on edge, too many people standing by while their civil liberties are stripped and things like TIPS emerge. I don't think we are any closer to winning this war. I don't think we ever can be. Terrorism has been around since the dawn of the human race in one form or another - it just arrived full force in the USA on that day. But it has always existed and there is no way we will ever get rid of it.

I think we, as people, have changed. A tragedy like that will do that to you. I plan on spending that day reflecting on the lives that were lost, but I'm sure I'll be at work. Just like Pearl Harbor effected so many people for the years to follow, 9/11 will effect our generation.

racheal writes "i only have to close my eyes to relive that moment." i feel the same way. i made a collage/painting to express my feelings, to be published in the Fall Edition of Small Spiral Notebook. (if anyone's interested.) the title is "Closed Eyes".

SSN (url: http://www.smallspiralnotebook.com/) will be doing a whole 9.11 reflection issue. everyone is invited to read and view the art and photography. not that i meant to turn Michele's comments into an ad for SSN--i just meant to share i suppose. we've put a lot of work into it, and hopefully the 9.11 issue will help people in the grieving and healing process.