Friday, September 10, 2010


Tomorrow is September 11th

Yes, I know you all know that. Shut up.

Tomorrow is September 11th. A day upon which, nine years ago, the world changed for so many of us.

I remember waking up that morning. Our radio alarm was tuned to a rock station, but there was no music. There were people talking about planes crashing into buildings and unthinkable hatred and destruction.

They NEVER have more than a few seconds of talk on that show. It's all music, all the time. "Playing what they want". A zippy and rude bunch of folks who mock those who try to make requests. (Try to figure out why I like them -- no, go on. I'll wait while you do.)

I thought at first it was a joke. A "War of the Worlds" thing, you know? It took me quite some time to shake off the sleep and realize that it was real.

All the way to work in the car that morning I kept listening to the radio, and looking at my small daughter in the back seat and trying to comprehend it.

I still don't understand it.

When we got to work I took her to the daycare and all of the parents and workers there were moving in a daze. Everyone was hugging a child ... as if to reassure ourselves that our babies were safe, even if those of others were not. That there was life and hope. The adults were taking comfort from the children. I've never seen that place so silent.

I held my baby for a long time that morning.

I got to the office late, but nobody cared. We were all just stunned. The news came in all day; little to nothing got done -- we were all just moving on autopilot.

I hope to never live through a day like that again. And I'm inordinately grateful that I did live through it, unlike the almost three thousand people who did not.

Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of that day. There has been talk of burning the Quran, of perpetuating the hatred, of making things worse.

Me? I can't buy into any of that. It's not about the Quran. It's not about the Muslims. It's not about the Christians.

And it doesn't have to be about the hate, or about revenge.

I'm not going to get all Xian and forgivey and shit on you -- you deal with it however you need to. I'm not your counsellor or your leader (and if I'm your role model then you likely need a counsellor or a leader -- dude, I'm nuts). I'm just me, and the way I'm going to deal with it is to do one small thing that will make things better.

Oh, it won't make anything big better. No, no. I'm going to maybe buy a coffee for a bum, maybe give someone bus fare, maybe put a couple of quarters in a parking meter so someone has time to get back and move their car before they get a ticket.

Perhaps I'll pat a puppy, or even just pick up a piece of garbage. Help someone across the road. Donate a can of tuna to the food bank.

Just one small thing.

And I'm not going to post about what it was. I don't need accolades for picking up a popsicle stick or telling someone they have toilet paper on their shoe. That's not what this is about.

I'm not going to post about what it was; but I'm going to do it.

It won't fix everything. In fact it likely won't fix anything, but it might make one small thing a little better for one person.

And I think that's a far better way to commemorate the day and honour the memories of those who died than is perpetuating the hate.

Just one little thing. I hope you'll join me.

Hell to the yeah.
I fucking love you!

You are my role model. Hopefully we can get adjoining rooms at the hotel with padded walls.
You know you've got it.

I remember a friend of my husband's calling and asking if he was ok (he was traveling for work)- he told me about the planes, and my first thought was "honey, you've been on the internet too long." unfortunately, he was right. sigh.
Excellent. I'm with you.
Well said - I was listening to some co-workers today who thought the whole burning holy book thing was cool. All I said was "hate begets hate" and the conversation stopped pretty quickly.
It's too bad more people can't get past their emotions and realize that.
You are often brilliant.
Excellent post. And excellent idea.
We should do this everyday anyway for all the terrible acts of terrorism and violence that happen everywhere in the world.
See, this is why we love ya! you're nutty than a fruitcake, sure. But fruit cake soaked in brandy is pretty damn good.

I've been thinking of Johnny Reid's song today... Today I'm gonna try to change the world... fits in nicely, and I will join for sure.

Just want to say though, if I were younger and healthier and could get to Florida, I'd stand between that nutball and any Quaran's I could find. Seriously. I marched and carried those signs when I was in my twenties... it worked then.
You know what? Me too. I also thought it was a rather tacky gag from my local radio station's morning zoo crew..and then I realized it was for real. Wigged me out. It was my daughter's second birthday, and it mostly went over her head, though she must have noticed something, because she kept putting her Bob the Builder construction hat on backwards with the bill over her neck and saying "Ima fiahfitah...Ima fiahfitah..." And I will do something nice too for someone...stealthy...a covert op of niceness...
What Norma said. x2. You said it sister.
Just love it! Budge up, love, I'm with you!
I'm with you.
I'm with you.
I'm in. Let's do this everyday.
Absolutely. Every Day.
I'm an incrementalist. I believe that all of our tiny sand-grain actions really do make a beach of a difference.
It was a memorable day for me. I remember experiencing the same thing you did -- hearing the news on the radio; coming in the office to find everyone stunned and dazed. Everyone had their radio on. Then we got word that there was a bomb threat. We evacuated our building and waited for over an hour before we got the all clear. We all ended up going home for the day.

My friend Ruth was visiting her daughter who was living in Hoboken at the time. She could see the smoke from the towers across the river. Then it took her over a week to get home. We hugged and hugged when she got home.
I don't remember much about that day. Snippets of horror, mostly. I like your plan.
Yes. I'm there. I talked to my girls about it yesterday, too, and about why the response to something of this magnitude cannot be more fear and hate. Thanks.
i was at work (day copy editor for a big midwestern newspaper). had to go on working like it was any other day -- with cnn on tv screens all around me. didn't have to edit news of the attacks -- but would have preferred to because i was more accustomed to editing amid disaster than younger colleagues who were going to do the job.

i was angry then and i'm angry now -- angry that people haven't learned that killing people just makes more people want to kill people for killing people.

as a nonbeliever, i find it very hard to relate even to moderate members of the faith i was raised in, let alone to radical/fundamentalist members of ANY faith. if your supreme being wants you to kill people, it's time to find a new supreme being -- or kick the faith habit and try logic.

i try to make the world a little better in some way every day, whether it's moving a shopping cart out of a handicap space, donating to groups like doctors without borders or just smiling at the rainbow of kids in my favorite international market. does this make a big difference in the world? probably not. does it make a difference in how i feel? absolutely.
Best Sept 11 post ever. Thank you.
A wonderful post. I usually write about 9/11 too but this year, I couldn't bring find the words. You did. Living in the NYC metro area makes this day even harder. Almost everyone knows either someone who died or a friend who lost a loved one. Bless you for writing. XXOO
Thank you so much for this comment. I live about 10 miles north of Ground Zero and was walking out of a breakfast meeting that morning. I was standing with another woman with our hands out trying to figure out why it felt like it was sleeting on such a beautiful blue morning. It was minutes after the first plane hit and we didn't know what had happened yet. Hours later we found out that what we were feeling was glass in the air.

But here's why your post is amazing! Because I have never seen such an amazing wave of kindness as I did in the days following September 11th. And that is what is important.

Although I would like to see someone in power (ahem--President O--I luv ya but man-up on this one) tell that preacher what an as**hole he is.
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