That time of the year again

I can’t blog for more than a few seconds today (and tomorrow). Suffice it to say it’s clear that 9/11 has now become for most of us another day. For me, for the first time in five years, September 11 arrived without fanfare, aside from a few pangs of relatively distant memories. Relatively. Because the first couple of years these memories were so vivid. And then time works its wonders, and the day breaks down into a series of snapshots and associations and miscellaneous memories, finally becoming a thing of the past.

Every year on this date I listen to the same long radio broadcast, which evokes to me the curiosity and unfathomability of what happened. (It’s been playing in the background in my office the past hour.) At first, no one can put their arms around it, and on the hourly news at 9 a.m. they go ahead reading about ordinary things going on, not willing to admit yet that the whole world had changed, and everything else they were announcing would soon seem utterly meaningless. (“Today Libby Dole is expected to announce she will run for the US senate…”) And then, as more and more information becomes available, the implications of the day become clearer. It’s an interesting thing to listen to, hearing the reporters trying to think through the unthinkable. Listen to the strain and exhaustion in their voices as they try to figure out which reports are true or not. It’s not dramatic or sensational, which is what makes this broadcast so good. Keeping sane at a moment of insanity; I really admire good reporters when they live up to their charter, as these reporters do.

I’ll be busy on a big project for the next two days. Very limited access to the Internet for at least two days.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Thanks for the NPR link. The emotion that comes through in the usually unflappable voice of Bob Edwards at about the 28th minute as he announces the collapse of the first tower is heartbreaking.

CNN will also be showing today on their website a stream of their coverage, as it unfolded, from that morning.

September 11, 2006 @ 2:23 am | Comment

I’m an American teaching in China. I just had my once a year watching of 9/11 videos. The videos really bring back how utterly awful that day was. I remember watching those videos for like 18 hours straight in ’01. I think most Americans did.

My American pride was stronger than ever on 9/11/01. Between 2001 and 2/9/2006, the day I came to China to teach English, my attitudes had changed tremendously though. Like many Americans, I’d become disillusioned with the decisions Bush and the representatives in Congress who let him get away with everything he wanted to made.

Earlier this year my mindset was that America is a fucked up country and that shit like 9/11 was in some way justified. I was in fact quite an anti-American American.

For whatever reason, I feel differently now six months later. I think it has a lot to do with living in China. As anyone whose lived in China can attest to, China is a very messed up country in many ways and continues to shock me on almost a daily basis.

Being away from America has made me realize that while imperfect, America is an amazing place and that people will hate us no matter what we do or don’t do.

I’m going to spend a few more months in China teaching, but I’m looking forward to going back to the States and counting down the days until 11/2008.

September 12, 2006 @ 8:53 am | Comment

[…] years ago I wrote about my reactions to the NPR report and why I listen to it each year: Every year on this date I listen to the same […]

September 11, 2009 @ 11:32 am | Pingback

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