In no particular order:
- I remember that on the morning of 9/11/01, I had mowed the lawn and had some kind of cold or allergies or something. Then I came in and turned on the TV just by chance and saw what was going on. My son remembers nothing. Of course, he would have been 4 at the time.
- Media-wise, I don’t think I ever watched as much TV as I did then, and that’s saying something since I watch a lot of TV.
- I think the attacks were both a senseless act of violence against innocent and decent people and the result of long festering and ugly policies the U.S. has had against other people in the world, notably the middle east. Thus the “why do they hate us” articles and essays that have followed.
- I heard a commentator on the radio talking about an article he has (or will have?) in The New Yorker in which he argues that the things that have changed since 9/11 are fairly small– getting on a plane, getting through security at some buildings, etc.– and it didn’t do anything to change the sense of decline in America. The widening of the rich-poor gap that began in the 70s-80s is getting wider; the extreme partisanship that really started to ramp up in the 90s is still with us; etc.
- I often wonder what would have been different had Gore won. Maybe nothing, who knows?
- Will and I went to a Tigers baseball game today and when baseball combines with 9/11 memorializing, what you get is patriotism on steroids. Many MANY police, fire fighters, military, and other general first responders on the field and much standing and applauding. And again, I embrace the contradiction of finding it all a bit much and I’m proud of my country. And I don’t think the political right has a lock on “being a good American,” either.
- The people who are really getting the short end of the stick here are the first responders who have been dealing with all this all these years.