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A Survey of Sorts

1. I'm debating whether or not to bring the Voices Project back for another year. I'm thinking everyone has said what they wanted to say already. Thing is, doing the project is what got me through the late days of August and early September the past two years. Concentrating on the project, reading all your stories and being able to give others a place to share their voices was very therapeutic. I tried to think of a new way to approach it, but I'm drawing a blank. I'm all ears if anyone has an idea on how to keep the project fresh. Or do any of you think I should just let it go this year?

Comments

How about soliciting people's opinions on what has changed, and how, since then?

I think I would re-run the project, but perhaps with a catch: ask people how they have seen themselves and their communities changed by 9/11 now that it's three years later.

I think that Dean may be on to something. It was said and is still said that 9/11 changed everything.

3 years after, have we changed? Have we changed as individuals, communities, states, or as a nation? Is there frustration because some feel that there has been no change in the world around them? And maybe most important what lessons have we learned? And I don't mean as a government.

I like that idea.

How about focusing on the positive things that have happened since then? Try to find some joy three years after the tragedy. Make Voices 2004 into a celebration of life, one that emphasizes recovery. It could be just as therapeutic.

Michelle
not to threadjack too much (well, actually it is alot:-), I just read a funny piece by your good friend Ted Hall. I can't stop laughing!
here is the link Supreme Idiot

Even if it's repetitive, I think it's important to keep it alive. For many the memories have faded, and they need to be reminded. They need to know how people who bore witness are dealing with it.

I will promise to write for you.

Don't forget also that your readership grows and changes every year. Some of your regulars this year weren't around last year. Some that weren't ready to write it down or relive it then may also be ready now.

I say go it again.

If it's theraputic for you, go for it.

I like Mariann's idea - of focusing on positive changes that have taken place. Or maybe you could do something involving the various charities and help-groups that have sprung up - things like Spirit of America - that have been the response of many Americans to the various tragedies.

One thing I've learned is that in the face of any unfortunate happening, people tend to fall out into three groups: the ones who want to pretend it didn't happen and go on as they always were, the ones who slip into despair, and the ones who go "ok. What can I do to make things better?"

And it seems we don't hear much (at least on the "mainstream media") about the ones going "ok. What can I do to make things better?"

Another thought would be to solicit stories from people on the "front lines" of Homeland Security - the Corps of Engineers guys who patrolled the dams, the people screening in airports, the cops...

I like Dean's idea, if the consensus is that something should be done. At some point, we all have to pick up on move on in our own fashion. This weekend, I'll be going to be visiting my alma mater in St. Paul, MN, to visit a tree we planted two years ago for a friend and classmate killed in the WTC. I'm planning nothing beyond that, except dealing with my own thoughts and emotions. Speaking only for myself, I think I've gotten past the point where I feel that I have to participate in something marking the event. That doesn't mean I've forgotten, though. I've simply cried all of the tears I have.

Run it. We all need to remember.

I was out of the country when you did the first ones and was going to send you something this year if I got around to it.

Keep it going, it is a great thing to do and allows everyone a way of marking the tragic day no matter how busy they may be. (By linking to it.)

I pretty much agree with what's been said so far, although perhaps an angle of "how have you/do you cope?" Where are you along the line of recovery from grief? Perhaps with some of the people who posted the last two years, and then have links to their earlier contributions.

It's sort of like a longitudinal study.

How about something more specific if you run with "What's changed?"

In the original "Voices" you asked for personal memories of 9/11...and I think you should keep those available.

For this year, how about the more specific, "How have YOU changed?" "What, if anything, do you do or say or view differently than you did before 9/11/2001?" Make US navel gaze for a change.

I like Dean's idea. That said, no matter what you decide, I'll write up something for you if you go ahead with the project.

I say bring it back.
Every anniversary, I find myself reliving the whole thing, and remembering stuff I hadn't even picked up the first time. It's one of those subjects that will never die.

I'd love to see you bring it back. Last February, I visited Ground Zero for the first time and I promptly wrote it all down. I've been waiting for "Voices" to roll around to take it out, type it up, and edit it.

Bring it back. I sent you a note a few weeks ago with my memories of the day, and I can also give you a little blurb about how I've changed. It's short, but the change was significant.

Just reading these comments surprises me.

Those of us that survived and also lost loved ones don't have to remember. We hae lived with it every day without respite. Yes the pain is duller and the compelling grief less intense, but the memories are pervasive and still linger close to everything I do.

It's the first automatic thought I have as I emerge from the subway and look up at the sky at 8:45am. It's the thought that returns twice a week in my morning meetings as I sit in a new conference room facing that spacial ghost that lingers in my mind's eye as I look at the downtown skyline. It's is immediately and urgently brought back with every fire drill, amublance, fire engine or police cars that go by with sirens blaring.

It's in the everpresent silence and absence of my loved ones during every milestone. No, I don't need reminders of that day. I am a living, breathing, surviving result of that day.

So although I love this site, I won't be visiting during that time.