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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Remember, Remember

I haven't forgotten.

Usually on September 11, I'll post my favorite picture of Lower Manhattan post terrorist attack, one taken from Jersey and depicting the Tribute in Light, where high-intensity lamps are shone skyward from the footprints of the World Trade Center.  The lamps are aimed and positioned in such a way that it looks like two towers of light standing watch over the city, a haunting afterimage of what was once there.  The picture I have of that has the lights hitting cloud cover and stopping.  It's quite pretty.

I didn't do that this year.

Every year on September 11, I wax poetic about the loss of life we endured that day, about how my city came together and for a few weeks.  The city was more humane, more human.

I didn't do that either.

It's not because I forgot.  I could never forget.  Neither could anyone who was cognitively alive that day.  Or anyone who has any kind of documentary channel.  I remember the before, and that memory pains me for the after.  I didn't do my usual thing because somewhere along the line thirteen years later, as I relocated 3,000 miles away, September 11 became just another day.

I don't mean that to disrespect the families who lost loved ones in that attack, as this will never be just another day for them.  However these days I'm living in an area where, beyond a passing mention about the terror attack, it's been just business as usual.  They didn't show on TV or play on the radio the reading of the names of the lost.  September 11 birthdays aren't some tragic cosmic joke.  The people I know here only ask me about it when they find out I'm from New York.  And in the course of day-to-day interaction without the shawl of grief and mourning, it's just another day.

The site has been built over.  One World Trade is now complete.  The 9/11 museum immortalizes the event and the aftermath.  Lower Manhattan looks like this now:


And the world keeps spinning.

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