Casey E. Hamilton

Some Thoughts on 9/11

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I keep a journal that is mostly just cathartic whining, but I wrote something today that I thought I might like to share with the wider public:

All the 9/11 messages online have been really bothering me today.  I have seen two types of messages, and I am annoyed when I scroll past both the “Never Forget” kind and the “mourn for Muslims killed in acts of xenophobia” kind.  It’s equal opportunity annoyance over here.  I’m not 100% sure why.  Both are too simplistic for my feelings on the matter, yes.  Perhaps the reason I’m annoyed is not the actual messages itself, but that we’re marking an event that led to absolutely everything I abhor about America.

Just so you know, I don’t have any answers to the above.  But I was reading a post by Anthony Bergen of Dead Presidents on Tumblr today (http://deadpresidents.tumblr.com/post/128828079267/where-were-you-on-911), and I was struck by something I hadn’t thought of in a long time.  If you ask me about 9/11 I will tell you that I was so sick that day that I was asleep until almost 11:00 in the afternoon California time, and didn’t learn about what happened until it was all over.  I remember my sister-in-law (who was just my boyfriend’s sister back then) calling and telling me to turn on the TV.  I remember delivering games to them as they waited in line to give blood at the Red Cross (and grimly joking about Battleship being perhaps too appropriate) before driving home and collapsing back into bed again.

I didn’t remember the certainty I had that we would go to war, and the fear that Brian would be drafted.  I saw myself living with my mother (because who knows if my dad would go, too?), and crying while I baked cookies to send to the front, knitted socks, and tried to keep myself from going insane with worry at the news.  I saw Brian coming home an entirely different person, if he came home at all.  I had read Rilla of Ingleside, and I knew that horror was the trite, bright-side version of things.

Is it weird that I forgot that so easily?

I feel safe in this world again, mostly.  And I don’t think 9/11 is something we should forget.  But to me it is perhaps not a mass post/meme/American flag sort of day.

I feel better now that I’ve said something.  You should feel free to carry on per usual…

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