Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflections on the Anniversary of 9/11

I can't believe it's been ten years.  Ten years ago tonight the world was still plugging along safe as can be, blissfully ignorant... Ten years ago tonight people kissed their kids goodnight and then went to bed for the last time.  Can it be ten years since the New York skyline looked correct?  Since I could wander around lower Manhattan without losing my way thanks to the twin beacons that stood as a compass for all?  'Which way is downtown?' 'Ah, there they are.  It's that way.'  I still get that confused and look skyward for some guidance, unsuccessfully as it is, these days.

Ten years ago I was living in New York City.  A New Yorker, I was born just outside of the city and grew up along with the Towers in the seventies.  They were such a part of What Was New York, as much as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge.  They are deeply rooted in my childhood along with Big Wheel and Sit 'n Spin, Brady Bunch reruns and The Wizard of Oz playing on our small black and white every year.  Tearing them down as the terrorists did was a blow to our country, for sure.  And it knocked New York over, briefly.  We're a resilient bunch, and the tone in the city for months to follow was a more congenial one.  People made eye contact more.  The tone at first was somber, but after the shock wore off a bit we did get back to our lives, minus the innocence.  That was gone for good.

There are too many memories for me associated with the tragedy that occurred ten years ago tomorrow.  For now, I will instead think about ten years ago tonight.  My friends were still alive.  I believed I'd never be personally touched by such monstrous evil - it didn't even cross my mind.  Ignorance was indeed blissful.

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