It started Monday afternoon. I popped in sporadically to check my Facebook newsfeed on September 10th and I started seeing photo tributes to 9/11. By Tuesday morning, about 1 in every 3-4 posts were about 9/11. Some were simple photos. Some were status updates about never forgetting.
We look at this as a nation’s tragedy, and it certainly is, but it’s more than that. Thousands of people died, which means tens of thousands of people lost someone very dear to them. To them, it was more than a terrorist attack. To them, it was the day their dad, their mom, their child, their sister, their brother, husband, wife, friend, lover died.
I watched parts of the 10 year memorial service on television last year. And I cried. Yes, I remember where I was when the planes crashed. I remember what I was doing. I remember the phone calls I made . . . some to friends to make sure they were okay and that their families were okay . . . some to my own family just to tell them I loved them. And yes, I cried because I remembered that tragedy and all those who lost their lives that day.
I also cried for those loved ones left behind . . . for the widows and the orphans . . . for those whose dinner tables held an empty place. I cried, not just for their loss, but for how difficult it must be for them to move on.
I can only speculate based on my own experiences, but I can’t help but feel that their ability to move on, to move forward must be stifled by the fact that every year on 9/11, it’s all anyone is going to talk about.
I wrote recently about my struggles dealing with my mom’s death. I usually go to the cemetery every year on the anniversary of the day she died. It’s usually a quiet and comforting place for me. I chose not to go last year or this year because I just wasn’t up for it. And I’m grateful I had that choice.
Those who lost loved ones on 9/11 will never have that choice. They’ll be reminded every year by the coverage on TV or in newspapers or in blogs and countless Facebook statuses.
My heart truly goes out to those who lost . . . I pray for them and I hope they can find peace . . . but I worry for their sanity when they have to relive the event every single year.
I understand the nation’s outcry, and I don’t mean to belittle the effect of that attack on people all across the country . . . and I’m not criticizing those who do write about it and talk about it every year . . . and I don’t think we should forget it. There’s not a happy answer to any of this.
I suppose the fact that I’m even writing this makes me a hypocrite, but these thoughts have been swimming in my head since watching last year’s memorial. These are my first thoughts on this day every year – not the devastating loss to our country but the devastating loss to mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, lovers, friends . . .