Once again we are remembering what happened 12 years ago today. And while it–like the Kennedy Assassination, the first Moon landing, and many other historical events during my 58 years on this planet–remain ingrained in my memory, I feel strangely detached from it today. And that’s bad.
Yes, I changed my Facebook cover photo to a 9/11 photo and my profile pic to something more somber for the day. The flag is out and I have a 9/11 photo on my Twitter profile. I’ve resurrected my blog post from September 11, 2009 reminiscing about the day.
MSNBC is repeating their coverage from that morning, in real time, as if it were playing out live. That’s really surreal.
Two years ago, for the tenth anniversary (“anniversary” sounds so crass), I was interviewed by Eric Adelson for Yahoo News about the terrorist attacks and how the existence of social media might have changed things that day–news coverage, families messaging each other, last goodbyes. It’s all speculation of course, and most of it was too awful to contemplate. I still remember that phone interview, and how Eric was so concerned about covering the story with sensitivity. He’s a sports reporter–and a good one–but recounted how he and his family were talking about 9/11 and the ways they found out about the attacks that day, and he decided to write about it in terms of social media. He said he wrestled with the idea of doing a story, because it’s still so raw for all of us. think we can all imagine what social media would be like if, God forbid, something like this ever happened again. We’ve seen it with all kinds of disasters, big and small, local and regional. Good and bad people get on social media and the online universe goes nuts–and that sometimes becomes the story itself.
Divided or Separate?
For a time after 9/11/2001 we were one nation, united in front of a common enemy. Today we are more divided than ever, and that’s sad. We’re winding down the second of two unproductive, unwinnable wars since 2001 and debating starting a third. Our nation’s finances are a shambles, Congress won’t do anything but disagree with the other side and nobody else can agree on anything except perhaps that Miley Cyrus is controversial right now. Development of the 9/11 Memorial Museum was riddled with controversy. So on this day of commemorations, resolutions, memorials, and probably some tasteless newsjacking by some clueless marketing person with a fast Twitter trigger, take five minutes to watch this video and remember we are all Americans.
As Tiny Tim of Dickens fame said, “God Bless us, Everyone.”