|In case you thought I had a sentimental bone in my body...
||[Sep. 9th, 2011|11:46 am]
So, I’ve got our annual neighborhood weiner roast scheduled this Sunday – sort of a block party thing where we kick off our Halloween planning. Admittedly, our planning mostly consists of sitting around drinking wine, chowing on cheese and gossiping/shooting the breeze, making fun of the people who didn’t show up, er, bonding. But the picnic gives everyone a chance to reconnect, meet any new neighbors, and it just all around good for community gestalt. |
But picking a day is always fraught with tension – before faire would be easiest for me, no doubt, but half the neighborhood seems to tuck in a last minute vacation at the end of the August. And once we get too deep into September, well, why bother and let’s just get to the planning meetings, plus I’ve got other stuff planned. So, really, it boiled down to just this one day, Sunday the 11th.
And someone said to me “Oh. Really, on 9/11? Don’t you think that’s a little...you know...”
A little WHAT? Oh, for expletive’s sake, people, get OVER it. (Even in my rantiest, I’m not expecting people who actually lost family members or close friends to get OVER it. Or rather, you should be over it about as much as anyone who lost someone close to them, suddenly, about ten years ago.)
Hey, I was fortunate, I had two friends who worked in those towers and both of them just happened to be at off-site meetings that day. And several friends in the Pentagon, who thankfully weren’t near the crash site at the time. But I HAVE lost a lot of friends and acquaintances in the past year to other things.
I struggled then, and I struggle now, to see why those deaths on 9/11 were/are any MORE tragic or horrific than the deaths that people suffer from every day. Beaten to death by a fellow employee, taken in days by some stupid bacteria run amok, a deer choosing the wrong moment to cross the road, someone having one drink too many and one friend too few to grab his keys, kids who are just being kids, your ladder slipping out of your hands and falling on a power line. Some guy who was making six figures goes to work, horribly dies, leaving behind a family. And the kids gets scholarships and sympathy and memorials and...Poor Rashid works six days a week, driving a cab and working at 7/11 and while trying to defend a store that isn't even his own, gets shot and killed by some crackhead and Rashid's kids get...oh, right, nothing.
And the heroes – the fire department, the police department, the rescue teams rushing in, don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt it was heroic. I mean, okay, it was their JOB to respond. It’s what they do, what they’ve chosen to do. The scale of the trauma, the dead, the loss of colleagues was larger than most had faced or will ever face again.
But okay, it’s been ten years. There’s a guy up in Baltimore who runs a barber shop and he pulls young men off the streets of Baltimore who don’t have much to look forward to except...well, eventual jailtime, right? He apprentices them and gives them a potential career, but more importantly, for most of them, a chance to succeed, a chance to have someone believe in their worth. And he loses a lot of them, sucked back into the mire, but he has a lot of success stories – kids who’ve risen above and gone on – to work, to college. He does that every expletive day. And in ten years, he’s probably saved as many lives – not just the young men, but also their potential victims. Hell, you can’t swing a dead terrorist without smacking dozens of people who are devoting their days, their nights, their lives to saving others. On the front lines. EVERY DAY. Where’s THEIR medal?
The hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the memorials, the ceremonies, the everything...that could save a LOT of lives.
Is it just because we were looking at the same time? Is that what it is? We can only recognize things if they affect a LOT of people, all at once? Is it because we can wrap it in a flag? Oooh, we were attacked and we're still standing proud. You won't break our spirit! Cut me an expletive break. Compared to what other countries endure from terrorists, we are a child who got pushed off the monkey bars and got a skinned knee.
By making such a production over the anniversary of 9/11, I feel like we diminish the value of everyone else – their lives, their deaths, their heroism. And it pisses me off. I am overburdened with a need for fairness and this...this...hoopla, just sets it on FIRE.
I could go on and on – I stopped with this as a draft a couple of days ago, thinking I’d go deeper, or maybe just erase it, but then I found this article:
And he captures it better than I would. And at least I’m not alone in wanting to shut it all down. (Don’t even get me started on the “cross”...)
Although I will still have to feel guilty about being glad that those damn towers are gone. As someone who grew up having the Empire State building define the New York skyline, they always grated on me.
Although I would have chosen a less destructive way to make them go away. Hell, I could have created JOBS. (What, too soon?)