Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Remember September

The 10th anniversary of September 11th is approaching, and I’m wondering if I ought to blog something about it.  I guess I will, albeit I don't quite know what to say.  I witnessed the events on TV, like so many millions of others.  I was shocked and angry and mournful and humbled and vengeful and grateful and outraged and subdued and tearful and sorry and proud, like millions of others.  I talked about it with friends and family and co-workers for days, weeks, even years afterwards, like millions of others.  Now it’s 10 years since all of those people fell from the sky. 

Every year around this time I watch some 9/11 special on TV, and try to devote a portion of my attention to remembering the sadness and honoring the sacrifices of that day.  Last year I watched a rebroadcast of the original NBC news coverage on MSNBC.  It was so interesting to hear the different thoughts and reactions of people before it became clear what was really happening.  “Oh my, what… a second plane hit the tower?  Ladies and gentlemen, a second plane has hit the south tower.  There is little doubt now, this has been a deliberate act of terror.”  Oops, there goes the anger again.  I try not to go there, but it's still hard not to sometimes.  So much pain still, those poor people. 

Of all the footage shown and re-shown about that day, there is one video segment that stands out in my memory.  I only saw it once, and haven’t been able to find it again.  It showed a crowd of onlookers on a street corner in New York City.  There were two individuals who began to argue about what should be done about this.  I don’t remember now the points of view of the antagonists, just that they were yelling at each other.  All of the sudden one of the men stopped yelling at the other, and started apologizing instead.  He said something like, “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m yelling at you.  I don’t know why I’m arguing.  I just don’t know how to feel.  I’m so angry right now, and I don’t know what to do with it.  I don’t know what to do.”  The other man settled right down, and the two men hugged one another, shedding tears of mutual tenderness and unity.  All these years later, I get tears in my eyes when I try to explain that touching scene.  I think it had a kind of healing effect on me, and helped to, at least eventually, move my feelings away from astonishment at the cruelty of some people, and choose to dwell more on the overwhelming evidence presented that day that people really care about other people, and that the suffering of one person can break the heart of a complete stranger. 

I saw a video on You Tube today that was filmed by a small group of people in an upper floor apartment just a few blocks from the World Trade Center.  After the first plane hit the north tower, this woman began filming the events that were unfolding.  Her thoughts went immediately to those poor people in that building and on that plane.  As the rest of the horrible scene played out, she just kept saying over and over, “Oh, those people, all those people, all those poor people.  Run!  Run away from there!”  The emotion in her voice is both compelling and difficult to listen to, but reveals the love that I believe is in the hearts of most of God’s children, despite what we see on the news every day. 

I saw the picture below on one of the 9/11 programs being shown this week, and it really touched me.  It says more than this blog ever could. 

Taken from the internet because I LOVE IT.

Take care now, and...
Thanks for listening.  JB


  1. Very cool poster, and wonderful blog. You expressed our feelings so well. Thanks.

  2. I don't know that anyone could have said it better, JB. I remember seeing that footage of that girl observing. It made the events more real than anything else I had seen.