Sunday, September 11, 2011

My wish for the 9/11 anniversary

If you haven't picked up the double set graphic novels 9/11: Artists Respond published by DC Comics with some assistance from Dark Horse Comics, you owe it to yourself to do so.  Nearly ten years after their original publication, they remain as raw and powerful as ever.  I wrote a small review of the series a little while back and you can read it here.

It's difficult to write about this particular day because it seems like the world is putting a capstone on this event - for the last ten years, America as a country has moved from collective shock to mourning to national unity that has, every day since, slipped away a little further.  It's tragic and shameful that we've gotten to this point, but what worries me even more is that it seems like once we pause today, momentarily, to note the events of September 11th, 2001, we will move on with our lives and push away the lessons to be learned and remembered one last time, and like taking a shoebox full of photographs and shoving them into the back of a closet already stuffed to the point of overflowing, we'll relegate the collective identity and the genuine compassion we showed to a time we generically remember as "the past".

It is my hope that as the memory of September 11th fades into history and a new era slowly takes over, the legacy of this horrible event, this national terror, is one that spurs us as a nation and a planet to consider others with the same basic human charity we showed without cynicism or ulterior motive in the days that followed the attacks.  I truly hope that we can think beyond ourselves and who we are and respect the needs of all around us.  I don't want our potential to be wasted.  I don't want the phrase "9/11" to be appropriated for political posturing or for financial gain.

I live in Southwestern Pennsylvania, close to Somerset Country and the infamous "Flight 93" crash.  I was in college in 2001 and can remember the day's events in vivid detail.  But I didn't know anyone, didn't lose anyone, as a result of the terror attacks that Tuesday morning.  I can't imagine how someone more directly affected must feel on this anniversary.  I only hope that we can learn from that day, that we can move forward and be more considerate, more understanding, more forgiving, more loving.

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