Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years


Every year I've had this blog, I've written a 9/11 post around that day. This year is no exception, though I have a slightly different angle.

After having watched a lot of 9/11 programs the past week, I was struck by some things I had forgotten about or had never considered to begin with.

As tragic as the great loss of life was, it could have been exponentially worse. I cannot say for certain how many people worked in the WTC buildings, but according to replays of coverage from that day, it was anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000. Yet thanks to the time of day and the heroic efforts of many, the casualties were under 3,000. That is something to be grateful for.

Ten year ago, I remember people complaining the Bush waited too long to speak to the nation. However, according to the some of the replays, Bush spoke soon after the second plane hit the WTC, but before the third plane hit the Pentagon. That does not seem like a long time. But then again, maybe I am not remembering people's beef. {Follow-up note: I am thinking the issue is that he did not address the nation again until that evening. I guess I can understand why people questioned his waiting that long.}

The other thing I realized is that in the 10 years since 9/11, I have pretty much gone through my 30s. On that day, I was fewer than three months from turning 30. This morning, as the names and ages of the people who died on 9/11 crawled across my TV screen, I realized how many people between the ages of 29 and 39 had died that day. I noticed a couple of 29-year-olds, and it hit me that those people never became older than 29, whereas I am now 39. I had a similar thought when I noticed the names of 39-year-olds. I have lived an entire decade since that horrible day, whereas those 39-year-olds (and of course everyone else) never lived another day. Time stopped for them and, in many ways, their families.

Today at church, coincidentally, a reading and gospel were about forgiveness, anger, and not seeking vengeance. Our priest said that when you do not forgive someone else, you are hurting only yourself, that forgiveness is more for you. Although I can appreciate his sentiment, I do think it is something that comes easier for someone like me, who did not lose a loved on that day. If I had, I am not sure how merciful I could be.

I can only hope and pray for a more peaceful world. Meanwhile, I will remember 9/11 like so many others.

God bless America

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