Geoloblog

Environmental science, traveling, and the sociology of the unraveling American dream.

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If you're looking for more about me, I'm pretty much hanging out over at my livejournal these days. I use this account for commenting on other people's blogs.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Something I wasn't sure I'd address

It's only 7 am and people have already posted about, well, today's date. I've been debating with myself over whether I wanted to post something-- and over whether I'm qualified to post something. Let me be honest, I don't buy the "today we are all New Yorkers" bullshit. Do we grieve? Yes. Is it traumatic, tragic, something we never believed would happen here? Yes. But that still doesn't mean we saw our childhood home ripped to shreds, inalterably changed, something I watched happen to some of my friends on that day three years ago. We can understand that, but we haven't gone through it, and it isn't the same.

At the same time, however, what we have been through for those of us not in NYC and DC still is horrifying, and what has come after has kept those wounds open for everyone. I was down in the NYC area last week, during the RNC, and although I didn't have to go into Manhattan, I was still in areas that had been very hard-hit by the attacks. In one small town I saw a memorial to the WTC victims, from both attacks. Not a fancy one. Not a large one. I'm sure no architects argued over who would get to draw the blueprints. But it was there, and it was there because people needed it to be, because they needed to know that they would remember. A piece of one of the girders: the first time I had seen something from one of the attacks in real life. I saw the Pentagon for the first time a few days later, from the air while flying through Washington DC. It was hard for my memory not to superimpose the black and smoking clouds coming out of it.

After seeing the girder and the memorial, after getting very close to freaking out over something that had never been quite real to me, I got back into my car and turned on the radio. And I heard that Bush, that the Republicans, were using the attacks to their advantage, turning the deaths of thousands of innocent people into political hay. And I cannot express how upset this made me. How wrong that was, is, and ever will be. For both parties, for anyone-- but Bush is the one whose use of the attacks for political means is by far the worst.

I am not going to do anything connected with the attacks today. No radio DJs, no TV, no addictive checking of nytimes.com. After posting this, I'm probably going to go try not to think about it-- if I can. Somehow, I think that it's not that I won't remember.