My Thought For the Day
Posted on September 11, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 29 Comments
I’m going to be holding my breath until 12:00 am, September 12.
Posted on September 11, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 29 Comments
I’m going to be holding my breath until 12:00 am, September 12.
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, contributor – AMS
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A day that I will remember for the rest of my life, 9/11/2001, standing in the conference room at work watching the live feed projected on the screen, thinking what a terrible accident. Then I watched the second plane hit the second tower. Almost everybody, including myself, burst into tears.
I can’t think of this day without associating it with the unending cavalcade of horrors that went on long, long after it was over. I’m going to stay as far away from the news as possible.
Trying to avoid the whole thing, but I can’t. I have to go try to sing in church (my voice is still fucked up from my cancer surgery), and of course they won’t ignore it there. Later on some friends are taking me out for my birthday, and all restaurants have TVs these days.
Other than that I’ll watch recorded TV shows and DVDs.
I’m going out with my family for lunch, and then I’m going to do something useful. Even after 10 years, I still can’t bear to watch footage of 9.11.2001.
I’m avoiding it all too. If you must do something to honor those whse lives were lost on that day, tell someone you care about that you love them. You never know what might happen to them, or to you, unexpectedly. We tend to take for granted that our loved ones will be around tonight, tomorrow, the next day. But it doesn’t take a terrorist incident to change all that in a heartbeat.
I’m so glad I’m not alone
I mourn the loss of life and innocence on 9/11/01 as much as most people (I don’t delude myself by thinking that I feel it more keenly than anybody), but on anniversaries of that horrible day I have to find ways to distract myself or I run the risk of totally falling apart.
I’ve got a copy of Man on Wire to watch this evening. It’s a documentary about Philippe Petit wire walking from one tower to the other in 1974. It never mentions the attacks, even though it was released in 2008. I like that the documentary shows that a group of passionate young people can conspire to do something inspirational rather than violent.
The rest of my day will be filled with watching the Bengals lose and cleaning the garage.
9-11 changed my world completely. I won’t dive into politics on a non-political thread. I will say that on 9-10-2001 I had no plans whatsoever of joining the military, and if anyone had told me that on 9-11-2011 I’d be a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army Reserve — doing drill weekend, appropriately — I’d have said they were smoking something. Today specifically, I’m not paying much attention to the media overkill. I feel like my being in uniform is about the best and only statement I can make, for myself, about all that transpired ten years ago this morning. Hopefully we don’t have anybody trying to stage a repeat. Hopefully, if somebody is trying to stage a repeat, there are men and women doing what’s necessary to put a stop to it before it starts. We were blissfully naive about the threat on 9-10-2001. I am not sure we’ll ever be unaware like that again.
I’m right there with you, John.
Brad: thank you for your service.
Amen. This is in fact the 3rd thing I’m posting on the web today. After this it’s media blackout time.
I think David Gerrold aid it best on Facebook yesterday: “Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary. I intend to spend one minute remembering the past, and the rest of the day working on a better future.”
I’m going to go put my iPod in one of our MP3-player-players and clean up my workroom. I hope the survivors can be comforted and the fallen rest in peace. But the media circus can carry on without me, and I’ll carry on without it.
I am a cake-eating civilian 90% of my life. The other 10% of the time, I am permitted to rub shoulders with heroes who eat bullets and face death. I consider it a privilege. These other soldiers, they humble me endlessly. And thank you for saying ‘thank you.’ =^)
snmiguel71 @11: Thank you for that post. This sums up exactly how I have been feeling.
to John: unfortunately, my husband (former Marine), cousing (active duty Marine intelligence) and a friend (former Army intelligence now with Homeland Security) have convinced me that there will almost certainly not be an attack today, but very possibly after 10 days to 2 weeks. But I can’t bring myself to hold my breath.
I attended a college football game at a large SEC stadium yesterday, and the first thing I did when I walked in was map a way to the nearest exit and try to determine the safest and/or most expeditious route. I refuse to live my life in fear and avoid the things I enjoy, even as I can’t see any way around being mindful of the realities of our world.
We were watching some of our recordings on the DVR last night and in between each show, as we were queing up the next recording, the TV would default to showing whatever cable channel station we were watching last. Which was a news channel. For the entire day, every time we paused from one recording to the next, the TV woudl end up having smoething about 9/11.
Today looks like a no TV day. Spending time with family.
Do you mean you’re holding your breath because you’re afraid of an anniversary attack? The ass-covering hype about “credible but unconfirmed” threats aside, AQ hasn’t pulled off a successful attack in the US *since* 9/11. Some chatter about them possibly setting off a car bomb, hyped up by officials who are scared of looking unprepared if some nut does manage a minor attack, isn’t worth your concern or attention.
9/11 was horrific and spectacular and designed to spread fear. Constantly dwelling on it (beyond the understandable reaction if you actually did lose a loved one or experienced it first hand) just does the terrorists’ work for them. It’s not a class of attack that could ever work twice, and AQ is too much of a spent force to pull off anything that bad ever again.
The *only* reason to remember it should be to ensure that the victims and responders are provided for and have access to medical care (which wouldn’t even be an issue if the US system wasn’t such a disgusting inhuman anomaly in the developed world). And we all know how that turned out – it was a subject of political controversy whether 9/11 responders with severe illnesses deserved medical help. I think that fact alone shows to what extent the flag-waving and breast-beating about “lost innocence” is just self-serving cant.
The best response to terrorism is to refuse to be terrorised. Because of the hysterical reaction, AQ managed to ju-jitsu the US into pissing away $3 trillion, endorsing torture and spying on its citizens like a police state. By far the best response would be to forget 9/11 and move on.
The true lesson of 9/11 is how futile terrorism is. I mean, the Dow Jones went far lower in the 2008 crisis than it ever got in the aftermath of 9/11. Bin Laden managed to kill a load of employees of companies like Merril Lynch and Cantor Fitzgerald, but he’d have done more damage to America if he’d just left them alone to get on with screwing up the economy.
CWO Torgersen: Thank you.
Ben: “The best response to terrorism is to refuse to be terrorised”. Amen, brother.
My uncle was in the military during the first Gulf War. Fortunately, he survived, but my cousin will never have siblings (details are understandably sketchy; apparently my uncle was exposed to something that affected his fertility).
Every year since 9/11/01, I relive the events of that terrible day and have myself at least one good cry. I was working as a front end cashier at my local grocery store at the time of the original attack. My shift began shortly after news broke of the plane hitting the first tower. When the first two or three customers asked me if I’d heard, I assumed they were your garden variety tabloid reading mouth breathers. Then the satellite TV store inside the grocery store opened for business, and I got to see the “tabloid fantasy” with my own eyes.
You don’t have to lose someone close to you in order to be affected by 9/11. The attacks were an insult to this country, and to humanity, and Shrub was right to go in with guns blazing. Did he do a crappy job? Yes, but one should also remember that if his father had done the right thing when the first Gulf War broke, perhaps the following decade’s unpleasantness (to put it mildly) could have been avoided. Shrub’s mistake, in dealing with the mess his father and Clinton left him, is that he was still so fixated on his predecessors’ notions of “nation building” and “peaceful resolution” that he couldn’t be bothered to tell his troops to go in, Get S*** Done, and GTFO. I’m not sure, honestly, that humanity’s a whole lot *better* off than we were before 9/11…but the anniversary serves to remind me that things could certainly be a whole lot *worse*.
“I’m going to be holding my breath until 12:00 am, September 12.”
Don’t. That’s what they wanted. Go do what you’d do on any other Sunday. Don’t let terror win.
“Fear is the mind-killer …”; they will attack, or not, and your worry is what they desire to create. Have a picnic on the lawn, if you’re done humping that dumpster full.
I just remembered a haiku I wrote ten years ago.
Moment of impact
Eternity of collapse
Moment of silence
Brad: Thank you for your service.
That said …
Not all of us. My first coherent thought after realizing it wasn’t an accident was essentially, “Fuck. So that’s how they decided to do it.”. I think anyone aware of the concept of blowback and aware of the US’ — let’s say “complicated” — role in the world should have expected something like this. Which, lest I be misunderstood, is *not* the same thing as saying we deserved it.
I’m declining to follow any news today, of any sort, and leaving remembrance to be remembrance of what I remember, leaving the possibility of that perhaps being augmented by what someone else might remember.
It’s a fine thing to remember how 9/11 affected us, and it certainly had effects, widely around the world. I was on one of the first flights to head out afterwards, heading to my brother’s wedding in Halifax. We wound up short one brother because he was in the US, and couldn’t get across the border.
I have been finding the media “lurkage” to be increasingly disgusting, particularly when they haven’t got any real news to report, as is certainly the case today.
I realized the banality of it between the reports on the loss of space shuttle Columbia, and JFK Jr’s loss in the ocean. These were purported “big stories,” leading only to continuous hours of shots of “oh, here’s the ocean near Martha’s Vineyard.”
Being a fereigner, I’ll stay completely out of the politics of it.
As an occasional private pilot, one of the strongest memories I have of that day and the days following is exactly of the empty sky. Interestingly, since I live near Walnut Creek, CA, not far from Travis AFB (a big military airlift base NE of San Francisco), so an ordinary day, seeing a fat C-5 or C-141 wasn’t unusual. The first airplane I heard after that was at about 3 a.m., on 9/12/11, when a transport plane cruised over our neighborhood fairly high up and half the neighborhood immediately emptied into the street trying to see what was going on.
“Interestingly, since I live near Walnut Creek, CA, not far from Travis AFB (a big military airlift base NE of San Francisco)”
I know of it because I was born there. True fact.
I got out of the Navy in “96 not planning to ever even consider the military again in my life. On 9-13-2001, I went into the Recruiters office and tried to get back in. Long story short, I was put on a list to call up “just in case it got bad” as no one knew at that time what was going to happen. When I told my wife that I was going to go to the recruiting office, she said “I’ve known you would go ever since this happened” Proves she’s stronger than I am, if you stop and think about it. Never went back in, still would if needed.
Leaving all of the political posturing aside, those bastards specifically targeted civilians. Any group that does that has lost any and all legitimacy in my mind. It’s not tied to a religion, it’s tied to hate.
I’m trying hard to loose hate, wish we all could.
Several Mosques in the state had open houses last night. We went and did our silent worship during their worship.
I managed to avoid most media references by heading attending South Eastern Mass Pagan Pride Day. I only needed to change the radio station a couple of times during the drive, and had a lovely time at the event. I get considerable amusement from the event being held in my hometown, something I could never have imagined taking place 40 odd years ago.
John, thank you for the link. I too remember the empty blue skies in those days after 9/11, and I remember how eerie and beautiful both the blue and the quiet were.
I swear sometimes when I think of that day I can still taste the ash in the air that day and for days to come (and I was on the upper west side of Manhattan that day which is like 4-5 miles from the WTC)
I woke up that morning to the sound of sirens (not that unusual for NYC) but thinking there must be an awful big fire nearby for so many sirens to be going off at once. Then I realized they weren’t stopping. Turned on the TV to see them talking about the first impact and then see them report the second impact. I had never seen and have never seen the city so quiet and empty as that evening when I was walking back home, with the smell of smoke and ash and dust permeating the air.
I would say, like most people that were in NYC that day I find the media circus appalling…. just as I found people coming to the site to gawk at the remains of the buildings after that day. For years I couldn’t bring myself to go see the site…. in fact the only reason I saw it was ’cause I worked for a few years ’04-’07 down in Battery Park and I’d use the reopened WTC train station. I may go visit the memorial after all the hoopla dies down, hopefully avoiding “tourists” treating it more like an attraction than a memorial.