911 2009

Eight years ago??  Really??  It doesn’t seem possible.

It seems impossible because, at sixteen, nothing like that had ever happened to me.  Even the Gulf War was something that happened in history classes, albeit contemporary history  (Mmmhhh, oxymoron anyone?).  It was so surreal because, things like that, Pearl Harbor, terrorists attacks, just didn’t happen.

My boss from the days of having a newspaper route, who incidentally I didn’t like, was in the Twin Towers and died.  Someone from little Logan, Utah was gone from 9/11, how weird is that?  What are the chances?

My Uncle, now retired, worked for the army at the Pentagon for years.  He was months into a deployment in Saudi Arabia when 9/11 happened.  He probably wouldn’t have been to his office yet even if he was stateside, but nonetheless it was destroyed and nonetheless he was safe because he was in Saudi Arabia.  What are the chances?

I guess when incredible things happen, there are incredible ripple effects.

And why is it that, even if you’re just being honest, saying anything derogatory about the deceased is a big no-no?  I suppose you just keep the good memories, no point in preserving the others.  I suppose also it’s not really fair to critique when the person has no way of being able to defend themselves or be a part of the discussion.  But it’s odd, and maybe even disrespectful, when a person who never said a nice thing about the person while they were alive, suddenly sound like they must’ve been their good friend now that they are gone.

People from high school do that too, get all excited, “it’s so good to see you!!  How have you been?” and you think, “Maybe you should start with how was I, cause we both know you don’t know.”  Then again, maybe I’m looking at it wrong.  After all, that was 6-8 years ago and isn’t who you are in the present what really matters?

Eight years ago??  Really?  It doesn’t seem possible.

It doesn’t seem possible because it was so huge then.  A year had more value then, it was 1/16 of your life.  I first heard from my cross country coach at morning practice before school.  He and some of my teammates had heard it on the radio.  It sounded made up to me, like War of the Worlds or something.  We all seemed to feel that way at least a little.  We went for our 4 miler run.

My AP History class that I hadn’t dropped out of yet was next, and that’s when it really hit.  We watched the news all class.  All the teachers did, all day long.  I went home for lunch and called my Mom about my Uncle to find out he was in Saudi Arabia, and subsequently, very much in one piece.  I called a friend whose son was in the Army Reserves and that I was madly in love with, with all my 16-year-old heart.  He looked really good in uniform.  I don’t know why I thought he would all the sudden be deployed.  Of course later, he was.

1/16 of my life later, which then had morphed into 1/17 of my life, I ran my cross country race carrying a tiny US flag the entire 3.1 miles.  And to think, I almost forgot today was the anniversary…but then it was eight years ago.

When, if ever, does it stop being a big deal?  How long to we mourn?  Does keeping it alive only cultivate the fear and give terrorists their power?  Does it makes us more in touch with humanity to remember for a day what others remember everyday because someone they love is gone?   How much does someone bereaved think about it?  How do they mourn?