Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I ACTUALLY did on 9/11

On Monday, I wrote about how I was going to try to limit my 9/11 exposure. In case it was not clear, my intent was not to diminish the day or pretend it did not happen. I can guarantee I will never forget. Rather, I was concerned that perhaps I spend too much time rehashing the events and crying about them. Is it really healthy to re-watch a plane crashing into the WTC for what is probably the 100th time for me?

But, as I suspected, I did watch more TV than I wanted.

Here is how the 24-ish hours unfolded for me. Not that most of you (or probably any) care, but here goes.

Monday night, I watched snippets of a few programs on the H2 and either the History or the Smithsonian channel. One program, which centered on people who escaped, I had seen before. The other, which I cannot remember, might have been new to me. I was so tired from staying up for the Steelers game the night before, that I was asleep by 9:30, so my about one hour of 9/11 rehashing seemed pretty respectable. Before J went to bed, she and I said a brief prayer for the victims and their families.

On Tuesday morning, clad in my USA shirt, I went to my favorite, local coffee shop and saw a moment from the NYC ceremony, I believe. ABC's Good Morning, America cut over to it at 8:46 (or whatever time the first plane hit), for the moment of silence. NBC apparently skipped the moment of silence so the viewers could hear about Kris Jenner's breast augmentation. Sigh.

After that, I went to daily mass, where the priest only briefly mentioned 9/11. I was sure to say a prayer for all the victims and their families as well as for peace in the world. After that, I attended a church reflection meeting that had nothing to do with 9/11, but I was okay with that. Then I spent the next almost two hours driving to and from Walmart and spending too much money while there.

After unloading the groceries and checking a few emails, I headed to my church, where the school kids had a prayer service for 9/11. I thought it was a very nice ceremony. A student gave a brief opening about that fateful day. We sang some appropriate songs ("America the Beautiful," "For the Healing of the Nations," and "Let There Be Peace on Earth"). A priest from another school read prayers, while a student placed a candle on the altar and everyone sang "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let is shine" after each intention. A teacher read a poem. And "I'm Proud to Be an American/God Bless the USA" was played. At the end, the principal pointed out that most of the children were not even born when 9/11 happened, which pretty much means this day means so little to them. The service ended with some of the classes coming up to the altar to view some striking photos on loan from a library. I teared up a couple of times throughout, but pretty much kept it together.

After some evening activities, I finally got back to the TV. And, yes, I once again, relived the planes crashing into the towers. I watched "102 Minutes That Changed America" or something like that, a program I had seen before. But I felt the need to do it again. I had not remembered the show after which explained the stories of the people who took the videos for that preceding show. I also caught a few minutes of a program about a man who pretty much surfed down several stories when the towers collapsed. I wish I had watched more of that. And I also saw a new-to-me show about a security guy who worked for Morgan Stanley who apparently knew an attack on the WTC was imminent. That man ended up saving almost every single Morgan Stanley employee, but unfortunately could not save himself.

I need to hear stories like those. As heart-breaking as they are, not only give me hope in the humanity, generosity, and kindness of people, but they also remind me of the price so many people paid for the horrific acts of that day.

So, dear readers, the two or three of you who bothered to read or skim through this account, rest assured you won't have to read another post about 9/11 for almost another year. But I don't regret giving 9/11 the respect it deserved yesterday.

4 comments:

Mel said...

I am glad you restricted your viewing, but glad you viewed things, too. I feel like it's my obligation to keep aware of it and remember how I felt that day, to remember that all those names weren't just names. We want to be healthy about it but we don't want to sweep it under a rug, either. It's a tough balance to strike. Watching that stuff, hearing those names, is sort of like reading some war memoirs for me: not pleasant, but necessary and important.

Facie said...

Well, Mel, I would not say I exactly restricted my viewing. I probably spent about two hours Tuesday evening, plus another 1.5 hours after I work up in the middle of the night and could not fall back to sleep. I think 1 to 1.5 hours would have been better.

I do regret that I missed the ceremonies in the a.m. Last year I posted about how it hit me when I read the names of some people who were 29 when they died, that they were the same age as I was that day. Yet I made it to 39, and they never did. Very sobering.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I still can't believe that 9/11 was eleven years ago. Like most of us, I'm sure, I remember exactly where I was when it happened, when I first learned about it, and what I did the rest of the day.

I'm impressed by your commitment to honoring the day and commemorating the people who lost their lives - not to mention their families that still live the loss day in and day out.

Facie said...

Kristen, I am not sure it is impressive, but thanks. On the one hand, I obviously think I overdo it. But on the other hand, it seems almost pathetic to commemorate that day for a day or two every year and then not think about it pretty much the rest of the year when so many others are reminded about it daily.