Let's just hope "never again." I think we'll be attacked again - these nut jobs are relentless.Hard to believe it's been 9 whole years.
I hope with all my heart it is never again.
So September 11, 2001, I was back on the winter prairies. I was teaching junior high school then which in Canada means grades 7-9. I arrived at work at 7:45 (yuk) and one of the teacher assistants immediately asked me if I had been listening to the radio that morning. I had, but I hadn't really understood what I was hearing because I lived close to my school, only 10 minutes away, and so I had missed much of the newscast. I just knew that whatever it was, it was bad. It was scary.My first period class was grade 9s, a Drama Production class. We were in the process of preparing a video for the Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) assembly for the school. We had spent the last couple of weeks watching WWII footage, editing it and researching the significance of Remembrance Day. It does not matter, as a Drama teacher, how many times I do this project with my students. It breaks my heart year after year. And this year was the most painful of all. We turned off our WWII video and watched the morning news and were sick at how similar were the images. We cried together, me and the fourteen year olds for what was happening to our world. We wondered if the world was on the brink of WWIII.The next block was my spare class. I went upstairs to the Social Studies classrooms where my friend John was teaching. John, at that time, was a year from retirement and one of the most intelligent people I knew. I wanted to hear what he was going to tell his students, what he would offer as words of comfort and rational thoughts. He had nothing rational to say. He was worried too, but not panicked like I was. He was able to teach a lesson, to make us feel like tomorrow would come. Just that no one knew what tomorrow would be like.That night the airports had stopped all flights and the sky was more quiet than I had ever heard it in all my life. My husband and I walked around the Reservoir by our home and for the first time there was no sound of aircraft, not one, overhead. It would have been beautiful if we had not known why.That Remembrance Day we added a new component to the project, a more modern section on current events including the events of 9/11. We had two WWII war veterans in our audience, an honour for us. They also had no words for what was happening in our world. No one did. That year was the most painful Remembrance Day so far.But that year was also the year that I knew more than I had ever known that my fourteen year old kids were *getting it*, getting the point of the project, understanding why Remembrance Day mattered, and seeing how they had to do something to alter the course of the world they were in process of inheriting. Suddenly they understood in a new way about the division between first world and third world, developed and developing nations. Suddenly they understood the reality and immediacy of war. The heartbreak of that day has never left me, and if I could track down those thirty children today who are now young adults, I am positive they would agree with me. North American was forever changed, we were forever changed, and we made a commitment to do better to prevent this kind of pain from ever happening again. *There aren't a lot of details... but in the dream, you were my mother. I know that's weird and I'm putting it here anyway because I am impatient to tell you. I mean it as a compliment because I always wanted a mother who understood me. But also who was a friend. *
The important thing is that Manhattan remains a place where people of all colours and nationalities and religions are welcomed, even after the horrific attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the huge residue of grief, that wonderful tradition of openness has not been abandoned.
I join you in remembering.
That one day changed so many things.
I couldn't even watch television yesterday.
Fingers crossed, wishing, hoping, right along with you.....
The purpose of 9-11-2001 was achieved. We are destroying ourselves through our own hatreds and bigotry.
Never again, indeed. Americans should also remember it wasn't just an attack on the US, but on all of us in the west, and our lives have also been deeply impacted.
I think, somehow, that a lot of Americans have been caught up in the Stockholm Syndrome, because all of a sudden everyone is overly sympathetic with the particular religious group who perpetrated this horrible act, not only in America but in England, Spain ... and other places. I know not all members of this religious group are terrorists, but all terrorists are members of this relgious group. That gives real, honest, authentic cause for concern.I hope people never forget."Fool me one shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."
I'm still not ready to look back even though I know I should.
Tara,These years have gone by very fast indeed. I do hope you're wrong about being attacked again, but we can't live in constant fear either.Agent,Yes! Absolutely.Lisa,Those events are engraved in the souls of all North Americans. Your dream sounds delightful for both of us. I, too, wished for a mother who understood me and was my friend, but sometimes we have to find those qualities in people to whom we are not related. I'm most flattered that in your sleep state, you chose me.Nick,The tradition will never be abandoned because it is the embodiment of New York, and in many respects, America. Calvin,Thank you.Babe,Mostly I think it changed our certainty that we were safe, that such horrors could never happen on our soil. And I'm sure it made us more aware of our own mortality than perhaps we ever were before.Maria,That sounds like a wise decision on most days.Molly,I hope you have a LOT of fingers to cross. Mark,I think that most Americans are still open and caring, but the events of that day and after have polarized us as never before. We are more aware of our differences now, and more vocal about them.Ian,That is certainly true. People everywhere tend to think of North America as the United States, but we are definitely not alone on this land mass. The US, however, was the intended target of those attacks, not Canada.Jo,I see your point about Stockholm Syndrome, but do not agree that all terrorists are Muslim. Timothy McVeigh comes to mind here, and many other homegrown people who committed acts of terrorism. Since I know you as a most intelligent and caring person, I think you meant to say that all the 9-11 terrorists were Muslim, which of course is accurate. I read yesterday that the US is about to enter the largest arms agreement in our history with Saudi Arabia, home of Osama bin Laden and his merry men of 9-11, and I find this quite frightening.Sweet Pea,Far better to look ahead anyway.
This image hangs in my office, on the wall. We'll always remember.XOXOMuch love and peace, Scarlett & Viaggiatore
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