September 11, 2001, and other such things

My  more formal–ahem! edited and  elegiac–post about 9/11 is here on Patch.  Just for you guys are all those things that don’t seem so, well, so appropriate to such a solemn occasion.

  • I was trying to reach back and grab the emotions that I had that day.  Mostly I remember endlessly watching TV.  Do I not remember much because I was overwhelmed  by the emotion, not to mention the barrage of words coming from the commentators?  Or were all those memories in that part of my brain that got zapped by the ruptured cerebral aneurysm several years later?  I dunno.
  • I do know that in terms of sheer fear, the-world-is-coming-to-an-end terror, nothing can compare to the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I was in high school and I wasn’t sure the world would last long enough for me to go to college.  My best friend, Janice, would drive me home every afternoon in her father’s little VW Bug, and we would say lengthy goodbyes at my house, so afraid were we that tomorrow would be obliterated by the Russians tonight.  Mostly, as I recall, we worried that we would die virgins.  This seemed such a horrible fate, to miss out on whatever it was that our mothers and gym teachers were warning us against.  I remember standing at my bedroom window one morning during the height of the crisis and actually praying–please, God, don’t let me die a virgin.  God was good, so fortunately I didn’t have to worry about that on 9/11.
  • Dooce posted her 9/11 memories, which are relevant to me only because we seem to have been living in the same neighborhood–West Hollywood.  What struck me the most about her memories is that she and Jon started it with their normal 5:30 AM.weekday drive to run the Steps in Santa Monica.  Holy shit.  Let me separate out the vying exclamations.  First, I know those steps but not biblically.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever had much more to do with them than watching eager people trudge up and down and thinking, Man, you  guys are nuts.   Tnen I want to say, Heather, you had the whole of the Hollywood Hills at your disposal.  Why would you drive all the way to Santa Monica to exercise.  Think of your carbon footprint, girl.  Okay, so I don’t think carbon footprint was a part of our social vocabulary in 2001.  Finally, I want to say to myself:  See! she gets up at 5 A.M.  and that is part of why she’s Dooce and you’re not!
What do you remember about 9/11?  What do you think of all the  [insert word of your choice that isn’t pejorative] that is being made about this anniversary of 9/11?  The comments are open and I’m going to keep reposting here as the ballyhoo gets ballying.  Anyone else feeling the slightest bit–I don’t know…what’s the word I want?????
Edited to add:
Photo credit:

  • Brett Hill

    I was off duty that morning (firefighter) and received a phone call from my sister-in-law to turn on TV. So I watched in horror with millions of others as the 2nd plane hit the tower. I went on to start the 9/11 Patch Project to honor and remember the heroes of 9/11. Today, the project involves over 8000 organizations in 25 countries and raises funds for 9/11 related charities. 9/11 has become my life’s work. More here:

  • Robertteix

    Please watch this 9/11 tribute and remember

  • Elkgroverunner

    I don’t have any emotional recall of 9/11. I just remember the chaos. Though I will admit that I was fortunately saved from your experience of fearing death-as-a-virgin.

  • King Midget

    I wish we would stop making such a big deal of events like this … we give more power to the horrors the terrorists caused and the fear they can create by turning every 9/11 as a reason to stop and remember. A simple memorial would be better than the elaborate thing going into Ground Zero. Let’s remember without giving power to the event.

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  • redheadranting

    I remember I couldn’t turn away from the TV. Partly because it was so horrific and partly because it distracted my from my own loss that day. For me, I would like to not have such big memorials and whatnot around 9/11. I understand the families all lost someone special and as a country we all lost something. I’m not saying we shouldn’t remember but we don’t make such a big deal out of the OK City bombing victims or any other tragedy that happens to people.

    • Jane

      I get what you’re saying, which goes along with what I was feeling when I wrote this post. I resent[ed] the orgy of Feeling that we’re led through by the media. Except–having gone through it now, I must say I think, for the most part, the orgy was well-done, tasteful and a way of making us think once again about what it means to be united–and how far we’ve come from that these days. The only ones that made me squirm were the local news shows, but they tend to be pathetic anyway.

  • Jane

    I asked Linda R. this but I’ll throw it out to everyone: Are all the remembrances a good thing or not? Which ones are most effective, do you think? I heard a psychologist on NPR yesterday saying unequivocally that it was a bad thing to watch the actual film of the towers being destroyed–something about we shouldn’t have that in our visual memory banks. I don’t agree; I think it is precisely that we should be thinking of and not some prettied up, glorification of jingoism.

  • Jane

    Are all the remembrances bringing those feelings back to you today?

  • cardiogirl

    I remember sitting in front of the television thinking that history is being made; it’s the biggest world event that I’ve lived through.

  • meleahrebeccah

    the events of 9/11 are still so surreal to me. I cannot believe it’s been 10 years.

  • Linda R.

    I remember feeling stunned, fear, outrage, pride and resolve. I remember the silence of the skies was deafening. I remember the victims and the heroes. I remember the American spirit.

  • Boomersinbluejeans

    I just remember having the morning news on which is normal and then the media just going crazy..of course, didnt even want to leave and go to my office. We had a power outage through San Diego County and outlying areas yesterday and that was my first thought!!

    • Anonymous

      We all in N.CA thought the power outage in S.D. was mighty odd. Actually, everyone did. I heard about it on the news where they were reporting it as an unknown event, but wasn’t a terrorist (they hoped). Do they know yet what caused it?

      • Boomersinbluejeans

        THEY said at first it was a single employee that did changed or fixed.. NOW they say that may not be true… it sure has given the media something to talk about!!

  • Shani Ferguson

    I almost wish there were another Irene bearing down, to give the media something else to talk about.

    I’m glad I have children to look after, kids who weren’t even born in 2001, and who are still to young to need to know about that kind of violence.

    Mostly we’ll celebrate my FIL’s birthday, the formerly innocuous September 11th.

  • Cecelia Fielding

    I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror, applying mascara, when my husband pulled me into the bedroom so we could watch the second plane crash into the World Trade Center. It was surreal. I recalled walking into the Trade Center entry mall a year or two before and taking the long elevator ride to the top, and the staggering view from Windows on the World. I arrived at work in time to see the first tower collapse, and I began to cry. I would cry, off and on, for the next three days as I obsessively watched the newscasts, flipping channels endlessly.

    I particularly remember, on the second day, seeing the daughter of a woman who worked in the center display a picture of her mother, who was still missing.
    “I know she’s all right, ” said the young woman. “We just need to find her.” She was practically jibbering, she was so obviously terrified. And we didn’t know then that her mother, like hundreds of others, had likely been reduced to dust.

    I’m also a little wary of the memorials. I remember what a shock it was, the third day in or so, when the networks started running commercials again. I don’t want anyone or anything profiting from what happened.

    • Jane

      Go read my Patch column this week (I’ve linked to it at the start of this post). That’s where my serious memories are.

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