I was in NY on 9/11/01. I had just moved into a new apartment, and was working at my first political job–for a mayoral candidate in the Republican primary. It was primary election day, and I went to go vote in my new neighborhood. By the time I gave up on finding my polling location and headed to my day job (at the very top of the Chrysler building), both planes had already hit.
I didn’t have a TV, so I sat on my bedroom floor, on my computer, watching the towers fall as I refreshed the news page. My boyfriend worked across the street from the World Trade Center, he had walked the 80 or so blocks uptown to his apartment, covered in ash, holding a ripped t-shirt to his face. For weeks afterward I could see the smoke from the smoldering pile where the towers had stood from out my work window.
I’m nowhere near over that day. I knew people that died in the towers, and I knew many people who had barely escaped with their lives. I can’t forget walking around Manhattan and seeing the “Missing” signs posted everywhere. I admit that I’m not ready to see movies about the event; I didn’t see “Flight 93” and I have no intention of seeing Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center”. I’m not offended by the films, I understand that neither movie trivializes the event, I just can’t watch the guy who played the drunk in “Leaving Las Vegas” play one of the heroes of that day. I can’t watch make-believe 9/11 when the real thing was so close.
But this week’s NY Magazine does trivialize the horror of that day. The picture on the cover is of blue skies with the towers in front. The words across the page: “What if 9/11 never happened?” The feature includes a collection of leftist ‘thinkers’, Andrew Sullivan among them, on how America would be different if 9/11 never happened. Al Gore is president, Saddam Hussein is contained, Osama bin Laden is captured, etc. etc.
It gets more annoying as it goes along, beginning with his insinuation that Republicans would have resorted to the same type of reactionary obstructionism and opportunism as Democrats have if it wasn’t our guy who was quarterbacking the war.
Apart from this blatant politicization, it’s just too soon. As I wrote on my own site, a child born to a man that died that day still doesn’t understand what happened to daddy. I realize it’s too much to ask that the media have some grace, and wait another decade, or so, to pretend that this life-changing event had never occured, but the rest of us should always remember what happened and how, and not buy in to the fantasy being peddled to us by those who just want to move on.
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