Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2006


Like so many of us, I remember everything about that day - I was on my way to the doctor for the first checkup of a new pregnancy when the first reports came through. All I could think about for days after was, how could I bring a child into a world where such a thing could happen.
Today (I'm writing this on Sunday the 10th) the weather was much like it was 5 years ago - clear, warm in the sun but with a fresh breeze, brilliant blue sky. Today we celebrated the ordinary joys of being alive - we went to the firehouse pancake breakfast, where we talked about the difference between a planet and a dwarf planet (sorry, Pluto!) as we ate our eggs and bacon. After breakfast, on a nearby basketball court, I tried to teach my older daughter how to ride her two-wheeler bike - she almost has the hang of it. (She was completely unaware of 9/11 at the time - we turned off the TV and radio for weeks.) The younger one, the one who was just conceived 5 years ago, rocketed around the court on her training-wheel bike with great glee, nearly colliding with us several times.

Later we met up with some new friends and hiked up Lion's Head, in Salisbury, CT, a steep rocky climb of about a mile, where these pictures were taken. (The macro view -- the Panorama probably covers 20 miles from north to south) and the micro -- leaves on the trail!) We sat up there eating apples and cheese, and trying to identify which lake was which. (Mudge Pond, which I've shown here many times, in Sharon, is all the way to the right, so technically this photo qualifies as Sharon.)

Back down at the bottom: a little ice cream, a half-hour in the garden moving some plants around, dinner, laundry folding, a game of scrabble, bath and bed for the girls - a perfect Sunday with the family. Is there anything else we as individuals can do, now, to honor the lives lost, besides this?


Blogger Jazzy said...

Great story. Thank you for sharing.

Sometimes reading stories like yours help us to understand a bit more of a sadness engraved in us by brutal acts of human beings.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

That day...five years ago...will never be forgotten for all the people who witnessed it either in person or not...I pray that it will never happen again...

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Stewart said...

"Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground....."

The pictures are majestic, powerful, unequivocal.
WTCs & Pentagons & White Houses are much more complex and only one of those 3 adjectives. In the end, We the Peaceful will reach for images like yours, and your words and thoughts, because what is being aimed at all of us is too alien, too complex to comprehend. And because peace can only be based on the most simple of premises. The one that I perceive in these images & words, which is: Live and LET LIVE!
Thank you.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Lisi said...

Remember not only the 3,000 Americans who vanished five years ago, but the 60,000 plus civilian Afghans and Iraqis killed by the stupidity of the Bush administration in the following five years. Unlike the repeated replays and publications of images at the World Trade Center, not many images of how these people suffered and died, and how their families grieved were ever seen. These people existed, suffered or died as innocently as the Americans; their fate was sealed on that same day but there is no memorial, no books, TV programmes and movies to remember them. I hope they are not forgotton by the world.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Passante said...

Lisi, I see that you have left your blog post as a comment on all but one of the U.S. blogs that commemorated 9/11.

Many people have died as a result of 9/11—the victims in the planes used as weapons of destruction, the victims in the Twin Towers, the victims in the Pentagon, the rescue workers who gave their lives, the Iraqi and Afghan civilians you mention, and the allied troops (soldiers who have no choice but to go where they are deployed) whom you don't mention.

I may agree with the spirit of your sentiments, but I think it is inappropriate to use the commemoration of a world-changing day to push your own political agenda.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Stewart said...

I return here this morning & read the comments that followed mine yesterday and I am a bit stunned, almost saddened by Lisi's words. They are, as Passante said, inappropriate here. Lisi, those who know me will tell you that I do not back off from defending those who can't defend themselves (you can find a 'controversy I ignited on Paris DP - where life is beautiful all the time - a few weeks ago, re. World War 2. i have specialist studies in something called "US Interventionism in Latin & Central America, 1898-1984", moreover, I have worked for many years closely with the surviving victims of policy & strategy decisions taken in Washington DC & Langley Va. 9/11/01 did change the world, but it did not START the world. Where did 01 start? And how many millions of victims? Not appropriate here. You have only talked about the past 5 years. You don't mention 9/11/73. You don't mention any of the Made in the USA victims in the Backyard in fact. You also don't mention in your chosen period Madrid, London, Bali, Tunisia, Istanbul, etc.etc, etc. Did you forget them? As I 'forgot' Santiago de Chile, 9/11/73 yesterday? I have joined protests against the war at every opportunity, just as I did regarding Vietnam & Cambodia in the late 60s &early 70s. I was actually arrested and thrown out of "Safe" Switzerland in May 1970 for walkin along peacefully with 3,000 others for protesting the Kent State Ohio murders. You are saying, by implication, that I - a strange kind of Englishman - also forgot, like Jenny. I will not have that.
Yesterday, at my lunchtime, coinciding with the approaching 3rd minute of silence in NYC that marked the falling of the South Tower, Sky News treated us to live coverage of the speech from outside the Pentagon by D. Rumsfeld. An appalling embarrassment, outrageous. I didn't wait for Cheney's follow-up performance. The point was proven, this was NOT their or Bush's day. It was a day for the ordinary people - victims, survivors, rescue-workers, volunteers who got spontaneously caught up in the world's single worst-ever act of terrorism.
You are falling into a simple trap, like many millions of others, which is good for Al Quaeda AND vindicates Bush's one-eyed 'logic': remember it? "You're either with us, or against us!". Is that what you want to be? Is this world so black & white? What DO you know? What IS a victim? Yes, when the Bush gang stole the White House, it was a monstrous step backwards for any march towrads a better world. It maybe booked 9/11, who knows? It certainly handed the gang a golden opportunity to advance their pre-conceived agenda that led to Iraq. That is the worst atrocity caaried out on the 9/11 ordinary vixtims, they were USED by the US Govt. Oh, you also forget, as it seems the US media also do,that vast numbers of the WTC dead were not even Americans. As in London & Madrid, many victims were NOT white Christian or Jewish citizens, but MUSLIMS. Why? Because in their mad creed, Al Quaeda & the fundamental Islamicists do not CARE, they have no goal but death, no motivation but hatred. I can only advise you to take a breather & research very hard on exactly what they are about. And check out just how many innocent victims in Iraq & Afghanistan have been massacred by them. And why. And then ask yourself, Lisi, just whose side are you on? What do you want. Wake up! The world really did change that day, Bush took advantage of it and launched a stupid, unwinnable war, because he knew he had a mandate from his own people and support from beyond the US frontiers. He will pay, B-Liar has been paying for a long time, Aznar has already paid. I only pray that you do not pay.
Lastly, the biggest reason why your remarks were inappapropriate was that you picked on one of those ordinary US citizens who has the right to decide how to mark and live through these anniversaries of a massive attack on her country & a city she knows well, with personal connections to it probably much closer & stronger to it than you or I will ever have. She neither mentioned Bush, nor her views on him or his politics, did she? She expressed simpler instincts & values, her family, LIFE. This was not a platform for a pseudo, unnecessary debate on International Relations. Who are you or I to judge her, or anyone? You fell into the trap, which is anti-Live & LET LIVE. Lisi, I'm here to tell you that you owe Jenny a humble apology. I hope you deliver it.

5:39 AM  

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