Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years ago today

I wasn't going to write anything about September 11. Honestly--and it feels strangely traitorous to say so--I'm not sure I have much to say. I wasn't in New York that day; I didn't lose anybody, or even miss class, if I recall correctly. I watched endless loops of news footage with my housemates, and skipped out on an evening prayer meeting to walk to 7-11 for Slurpees with Al and Kirticia, just to get out for awhile. Most of my thoughts about September 11--I don't like the term "9/11"--deal with the politics of the event and the events that followed, and not with sacrifice or heroism, and that's not really what anniversaries are for, so I was going to keep it to myself.

But I am an American, even if I'd rather not think about it sometimes. What happened that day happened to me, and it affects me, five years later and three thousand miles away, and what better way to commemorate the event than to use the voice I've been given? And so here I am, a terrorism victim by association, speaking up just for the sake of speaking up. I tried to use this anniversary to do what anniversaries are for: I tried to remember, and to celebrate, in my own small ways, my Americanness. I went to work, and thought about all of the reasons that September 11 isn't, and shouldn't be, a day off. I prayed without harassment. I turned on Sufjan Stevens and listened as he sang about the Midwest, and I used a gift card to buy a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, which strikes me as a particularly American novel. I told myself the story of my September 11, which isn't the same as anybody else's September 11, but it's a story, all the same. I remembered in small, silent ways, and nobody else brought it up.

I don't have more to say, really. I just wanted to say something.

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