Then the first tower collapsed.
Absolute silence......silence, not out of reverence, but that which stems from a total and complete lack of not words but vocabulary, because the English language does not contain vocabulary capable of describing what we were seeing. Words are created in reaction to tangible things or events coming about. Nothing like this had ever happened. The dictionary still lacks any words or vocabulary that can describe what we saw.
Then the second tower collapsed.
Words cannot describe it.
We sit here now, eight years past that day, and while no one has forgotten what happened that day, many of us no longer feel that day; myself included, until Wednesday night when I watched a powerful 9/11 documentary on the National Geographic Channel. It all came back.... the shock...... the confusion.... the anger..... the emptiness. What also came back was the patriotism. I realized that to remember that day is to truly feel it. To really do justice to the day you must relive some of it in your mind. A history book can only recount the events of that day to students who are too young to remember and/or weren't even born at the time. But history books contain only words, and like I said, the English language does not contain the words to describe 9/11. They, like us, must see it for themselves. No, it won't be the same, because they have the benefit of knowing up front that four planes are involved. They know the towers come crashing down. They know the passengers on the fourth plane rallied against the terrorists, and they know exactly what time the third plane crashed into the Pentagon. They expect it. We who lived it did not, but our feelings still dwindle.
President Obama and Congress have created a National Day of Service and Remembrance to honor the events of 9/11. Call me irreverent, but I am going to be the guy that calls him out on politicizing September 11, 2001. The president released a letter a few weeks ago that included the following excerpt:
We can rebuild out schools, but we need mentors and tutors to guide our students. We can modernize our health system, but we need volunteers to care for the sick and assist others in leading healthier lives. We can invest in clean energy, but we need people to maintain energy efficiency in their homes and help create a green economy.Eight years after this tragedy, President Obama is sticking to Rahm Emanuel's tactic of never letting "a serious crisis (sic) go to waste." This day should be called the National Day of Remembrance and Service. We remember first and then we serve only because we remember; it's not the other way around. The president continues to push his agenda in the letter quoted above by urging people to "help create a green economy" and "modernize our health system." I am absolutely not saying that the concept of the National Day of Remembrance and Service is a bad idea. It's a great thing, and it should continue. My problem lies with the way that it's being carried out and the politicization of it by the president. Leave politics out of it. This day is about one thing and one thing only: 9/11/2001.
The day should start off with people watching the following videos (or similar ones). Yes, they are tragic. You will see people jumping from the burning towers and hear them crashing on top of the lobbies of the buildings. You will see the planes hitting the towers and the buildings crashing down. It's not irreverent. It's real. It's irreverent not to truly remember, to truly feel. It's irreverent to go through the motions of this day and remember it as a history book remembers it. It happened, and people need to see it. They need to see it so they do not forget. Those who did not live through it need to see it so that they may feel some of the emotion that we did on that day. Those like myself who may have lost some of the emotional remembrance must see it again. If we do not then 9/11 will simply become another day where we'll have a moment of silence, but no one will truly remember why they must be silent. We must feel the silence as those who watched the towers come crumbling down felt the silence of shock. Yes, the videos are graphic and traumatic, but unless one experiences that trauma one cannot fully understand. More importantly, one cannot truly honor the day.
Listen to the commentary. Listen to the news anchors' complete lack of words and understanding of the events transpiring before them. They cannot speak, because they cannot imagine what is happening, even though they watch it live. It's still a nightmare that will end when they wake up. The firemen in the lobbies of the towers cannot fathom what they are hearing. They want to believe that the sounds are coming from debris falling, but the sounds are created by the impact of those escaping the fires hundreds of feet above. They want to ignore it, but they know it is real. Please watch.
First Plane Hitting the Towers:
Second Plane Hitting the Towers:
Plane Hits Pentagon:
First Tower Collapse:
Second Tower Collapse:
Let us not let 9/11/2001 become just another day of flags at half mast dotted with moments of silence. Let us weep as we did on that day. Let us be angry as we were on that day. Let us gather together, talk, vent, scream, volunteer, be silent and any number of other things that we did/were on that day. And let us pass it along so that no one will ever forget.