No, I Won’t Forget

Today is September the 11th.  I don’t really want to go into it in depth, since I’m sure there are many people out there who can say plenty more than me, and in better ways, besides.

I will say this, though: in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001, so many people said that we would all remember where we were when we heard the news.  It’s true for me, as it is for many many people.  I was in the first year of high school at the time, in Science class, when my aunt called the school to tell me.  I went to the front office, and I knew something was wrong right away- it was the only time my aunt ever called me out of a class.  I was mostly fine until I got back to class to hear the teacher talking coldly about the impact this disaster might have.  I, being an emotional 14-year-old whose sister was at that moment somewhere in New York City, burst into tears.  She was fine, of course, but she wasn’t all that far away from the towers, and she had to move out of the city for a few months while the dust settled.

So no, I won’t forget.  My life didn’t instantly change, and the world kept on going around.  But certainly my Science teacher was right, the world did change- the ‘war on terror’ happened, the soldiers who tortured prisoners and suspected terrorists were quietly ignored for a long time, and it is even now pretty unpleasant to fly into or through the US.  I don’t think the tragedy of 9/11 forced these changes, but rather the reactions of the people of the United States did that for us all.  People allowed the media to frighten them out of more of their personal liberties, and that had an impact on everyone.

That is another tragedy, though, and not the one which happened on this day eleven years ago, but rather in the aftermath- the days, weeks, months, and years that followed.  So many people died, and it is now and was then so very easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.  I am sorry for the people I’ve never met, and their families- I won’t forget them, but I also won’t forget that what happened to them was the beginning of something that extends even now into our lives.  This is not what I expected for the future when I was listening to my teacher, certainly- but I did fear the possibilities, and all the things I couldn’t know about then.

I don’t really want to think about those things today, when I should be thinking about everyday people who were expecting a day like any other, but who instead never got home.  I’d rather think about the memorials which are finally nearing completion, about the museum, the Survivor’s Tree, the new One World Trade Center, and the two pools which remain where the two original buildings were.

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