Television has already started with 9/11 memorials and remembrances. I’m sure this will intensify in the next couple of days. I have never really talked about my 9/11 experience and memories because it seemed so trivial. From the remove of the west coast it often seems as though the east coast is another country.
On 9/11 I didn’t feel like that though. It felt like I was watching my neighbors, my city. That seems odd to people around me. I felt the same way during Hurricane Katrina. The United States of America is my country, and it’s my home for good or for bad. When these things happen to my country – when there is violence, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes I feel it in my gut. It actually hurts sometimes to not be able to go and help, to do something. I find silent empathy is just as painful as wailing grief.
I know that 9/11 changed everything. Its effects seemed to have shattered our country like a pane of glass – with cracks radiating to the west coast and beyond. We were living on imaginary wealth, surrounded by imaginary security, with no thought that the future would be any different.