Much to my surprise, I have been watching many of the TV specials recounting the attacks on America ten years ago. Surprising because, until now, I just couldn’t bear to watch those planes slamming into the twin towers knowing that hundreds of people were suddenly obliterated from this earth..or worse yet, thousands more were to suffer the agony of being trapped inside only to perish when the burning buildings collapsed into enormous piles of twisted steel and dust. I have even watched the rarely shown images of those facing death by fire making the incomprehensible decision to jump from the windows instead; some holding hands with co-workers as they fell so as not to die alone. I have made myself listen to the recordings of radio traffic between firefighters on their fatal mission into the World Trade Center to save others or watch interviews with victim’s family members as they recount their last desperate phone calls from loved ones in the doomed buildings or aircraft.
I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s the fact that we finally got bin Laden. Maybe it’s because a new World Trade Center at the same location is soaring skyward like a giant middle finger to the terrorists. Or perhaps it’s something as basic as “time heals all wounds.” Sadly, though, just as I have found it easier to face the sad realities of that awful day, Americans in general have managed to drift away from the oneness that tragedy inspired. We’ve grown comfortable again with yelling and screaming at each other whether it be from a political podium or at a fellow motorist who doesn’t measure up to our driving standards. Greed and garishness are back in fashion; flag waving..not so much.
It seems to me that the best way to honor the memory of those who died on 9/11 would be to rekindle the feelings we had on 9/12; when we put aside our differences realizing our strength is in our unity and those who believe otherwise eventually learn that lesson the hard way.
On the day following the attacks, newspaper columnist, Leonard Pitts wrote a column which we recorded for the newscast that night on Keloland TV. I offer it up for you to see once again here..NOT because I’m the guy reading the report but because Pitts so brilliantly summed up the feelings of an entire nation with his well chosen words that are equally as powerful today. click here