Monday, September 11, 2006

the clouds came tumbling down

So, I've said before I'm big on anniversaries. And I've felt, on past anniversaries of this treacherous day, that I genuinely had something to say, that I felt something that I needed to share.

It's odd, then, that today, I'm spent. I've got nothing.

I haven't watched any of the news recaps. I sure as hell didn't watch "The Path to 9/11." I felt no need to see United 93 or World Trade Center earlier this year. I haven't forgotten where I was that morning (German class), what I did that day (voted, under the clearest, emptiest blue sky), even whose music I listened to (Ben Folds), though the intense feelings I had initially have faded, as feelings tend to do. I do still get angry at times, still feel a twinge whenever I see an old photo with the towers spiraling over lower Manhattan, looking so stoic and constant.

But what can I say? We were never as safe as we thought we were, and we're probably not as safe as we think we are now. We re-elected a president who made a mess of our foreign policy in the wake of the tragedies. We accept regulation after regulation of our air travel, as though suffering these minor indignities will somehow atone for those four doomed aircraft on that bright September morning. We live in a different world, perhaps--but in many ways, it's the same world with the veil pulled back. I wish, as we all undoubtedly do, that our nation didn't have to suffer tragic loss to achieve such jaded understanding.

The worst part, though, the part that is keeping me from focusing much on the memories of today, is that I fear the way we've changed is exactly wrong. I worry that I'm not the only one who has lost the big picture, and that really, really frightens me. Saddens me. Drives me to think about other things, most of the time.

But right now, I'm thinking about five years ago, how I stayed up all night with the other Glee Club officers deliberating on our roster and our feelings. How I was lucky not to lose a loved one. How maybe, just maybe, the worst was over, but wondering if, really, the worst was yet to come.

Goodnight, America. Tomorrow's a new day. Tonight, we sleep.

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