I am weary of commemorating this day.
I am sickened by the exploitation of it by those pandering to constituents (religious or political). I am sad for the ghosts of the dead, who are lumped into a single grim spectre by the media (“those who lost their lives”) and their families, each different and affected in different ways, are one more mass (“those who lost a loved one”) to be resurrected annually to keep the emotions fresh. We pick at the scab, lest it heal, and we lose our appetite for war and fear.
I remember where I was and how I felt on that day. And I resent that my emotions and intellect were hijacked by the media and the culture I lived in at the time, and that it was years before I gained a sufficient understanding of the complexities of the world we live in to see why anyone might want to attack Americans, or why some people in other parts of the world might not feel that bad for us in our single, solitary day of tragedy, because their lives are tragedies every day, and they do not have the luxury of commemorating every atrocity they’ve experienced with vigils, parades, or rallies. (And when they do, Americans call them fanatics.)
I resent the things our country did in the wake of the WTC attack. I resent the things we’re still doing 9 years later. I resent that countless young men and women who served our country were allowed and encouraged to do things that are reprehensible, and they’ve come home broken in body and mind.
I resent that whoever attacked us may have gotten exactly what they wanted.
I don’t like the hole in the ground in downtown Manhattan.
I do like that life goes on. I admit I like that I don’t live in a place where explosions and dust billowing in the streets and hideous images on the local news are everyday occurrences. I’m glad I know so many more people now whose view of the world is more honest and more generous.
I have a friend whose birthday is September 11th. I’m gonna go with that.