I Don’t Want To Relive 9/11 This Weekend

We have grown suspicious. We have lost freedom. We have lost innocence.

I usually listen to NPR on my way in to work. I couldn’t today. Too much talk of 9/11. Maybe the act took place ten years ago, but I still have open wounds. Who doesn’t?

We had some anchor chat time on the 4:00 o’clock news this afternoon. Rachel Lutzger showed video of her on-air in the days following the attack. Then Alison Morris and I spoke. My emotions were very close to the surface… much closer than I anticipated.

Following the attack we were admonished not to let the terrorists change us or our nation. It still changed.

We have grown suspicious. We have lost freedom. We have lost innocence.

I am proud of how Americans dealt with this tragedy. I am not proud of how my government dealt with it.

This is not a Republican/Democrat thing. I am unhappy with policies that changed because of fear and ignorance. I am still disgusted 9/11 was used as a pretext for unrelated power grabs.

Is nothing sacred? Maybe not.

I will do my best to avoid any media mention of 9/11 this weekend. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s because I still care more than I am capable of dealing with.

42 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To Relive 9/11 This Weekend”

  1. I feel much the same way Geoff. Someone posted something on facebook and I found myself not able to hear the whole thing. That dreadful day I wondered if my children and U.S. soil would ever be safe again. Thank God for our armed forces.

  2. I am so there with you Geoff. I’m not sure why everyone feels the 10 year mark is so much more significant than years 1-9. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years, but it still feels very much like it just happened and it’s still raw. I’m sure the terrorists are thrilled by that, but it is what it is. I’ll stick to saying a prayer for all those souls lost that day and for their loved ones, but I’ll pass on reliving it all over again this weekend.

  3. I listened to the New York Times’ audio feed of the airlines and the National Guard published yesterday. Very poignant, very fresh. A bit much. It will never become less…never.

  4. I totally agree. I watched a show on 9/11 last week, and I was very surprised at the horrified and upset feelings that came back to me. I had forgotten what it had felt like that day and those days following. I’m definitely going to try to avoid all things 9/11 this weekend.

  5. I agree with you 100%. In fact, my FB status was that I was going to avoid all media this weekend and I admitted that it was because I couldn’t handle it. Carla hit the nail on the head when she says “I’m not sure why everyone feels the 10 year mark is so much more significant than years 1-9”. I’m hurting like it happened 2 weeks ago. I’m comforted to know I’m not alone.

  6. I understand Geoff and share your sentiment. I cant watch those planes fly into buildings and see the raw grief on people faces. It makes me angry, and intensely sad. I can’t imagine how it must feel for people who have lost loved ones. Have a good weekend.

  7. I just wonder what they hope to achieve by putting so many people through this again. My grandmother always said she could never watch anything related to WWII because of the blitz and the damage it did to everyone she knew. I went through two IRA bomb attacks one where I just happened to be in Warrington when they let one off, and the other in Manchester and they’re two events I wish I could brush under my own carpet. I couldn’t believe it had been 10 years since that day it still feels so near. I guess for me it will never be as poignant as it is for the people here in the USA and the feelings for me are almost indescribable. I just wish now they would let the people remember it but leave it well alone. I feel everytime they bring it to the surface, people hurt and the terrorists rejoice. 10 years is time to move on, 10 years after WWII we got rock and roll and the movement of a whole new era, I think its time to leave this era of fear behind and begin a new page in history.

  8. Geoff, You hit the nail on the head. I understand completely how you feel. As the anniversary has grown closer I have watched less and less of TV, and used my computer much less for that very reason. What happened that day paralyzed me in many ways, and changed me forever.I choose to celebrate life, and not go to that dark place that I was drawn into because of the attacks.

  9. As for me, the “coverage” is pouring salt in wounds that have barely begun to heal. I rarely watch the news (just for the weather report, of course!) because it seems the media barrage of mayhem and suffering is a psychic assault. A remembrance, a prayer or two and that is enough. To continually rip a bandage off year after year simply will not allow healing to properly take place, and to my mind, the terrorists “win” every time. I will not stand for that.

  10. Thank goodness I am not the only one who feels this way…I will say my own silent prayer, including one for the younger brother of my high school best friend, and it will be a day devoid of media. I agree with the person who said why is the 10 yr mark so much more significant than years 1-9? The constant replay is still too horrific to watch over and over – some have said it is so we never forget, but we never will.

  11. I, too, am having trouble with this “anniversary.” I think that having young grandchildren living within the shadow of the towers is terrifying me. They have lived there for over four years, but somehow all this hype is making me very nervous. I will be happy when the weekend is over and we are back to normal, whatever that is.

  12. Geoff,

    It seems as though you are not alone in your feelings regarding the 9/11 attacks. I agree totally with your feelings, and have decided to read a book this weekend, work with my kids, and avoid the media regurgitation of the event of 10 years ago. One of the posts on this site pointed out that years 1 through 9 were sort of mentioned and passed over without so much as a blip. However, a “decade” must be sensationalized??? Give me a break. No American will ever forget that day, just as Americans who were around when Pearl Harbor was bombed, will never forget that day, or what they were doing, or where they were.
    We as a nation can’t forget this event. We had no say in the pursuit of the instigators. To say this was a political football, is an understatement. We the people, have not been listened to.

  13. Americans never forgot Pearl Harbor. Europeans never forgot Auschwitz and all the other Nazi camps. I agree with everyone here that has posted. We will never forget – even if we did not loose someone we loved.

  14. How could anyone forget that horrific day? I don’t need all of this media hype to remember. It’s too much. I haven’t watched any of the coverage this week. I will watch some of the memorials this weekend though. I think we need to honor those we lost in a meaningful way; we do not need to bring back the memories of the details of how they were lost. I don’t need to see those images again. I still see them when I close my eyes. I will never forget.

  15. Nice post Geoff. The days right after 9/11/01- it felt that the country was coming together in ways I hadn’t experienced in my lifetime- and we were going to go a different path and be a new nation- and that all quickly changed with the actions of our leaders. I’m just going to stop there and wish all the survivors (in whatever form) a healthy and bright future.

  16. It may be fashionable to reflect on what happened 10 years ago but it makes me just as sad as it did then and I’m sure that’s what the terrorists would want so I feel that private quiet reflection is appropriate.

  17. I was 21 years old, a junior in college when 9/11 occurred. As long as I live, I will never forget the first phone call I was able to make to my father, an attorney in lower Manhattan. After learning that he and my Mother were safe, I said, “Dad, they’re never going to catch the guy who did this”, to which he replied, ‘Chris, they may not catch him, but I promise you we’ll never stop searching. They’ll turn over every rock on this planet, and someday, somehow…we’ll kill him.” The events of that day have shaped my life, but they haven’t defined my life. The 10 year anniversary is no more special than the 3 year anniversary, or the 7 year anniversary.

    Sunday will be an emotional day, just as the last 9 years have been emotional.

  18. A wound will never heal if the scab is picked off continuously. The event changed my life and so many others’ forever. I don’t need/want to be reminded of the horror, thank you.

  19. I’ve been ducking all the coverage this week….everyone has their own private hell to deal with, and we don’t need to have anyone else’s forced on us. I understand that some people need to share in order to validate their lives, but I don’t need to be part of it. As you say, it’s still raw and it’s personal. It’s still there, and it won’t ever be forgotten.
    My father never wanted to talk of his war (WWII) experiences, and neither did those of my generation who served in Vietnam. I understand that, I respect that, and I wish the media would let us remember without forcing us to share the personal angst of others.

  20. Thanks for putting into words what I’ve been feeling. I felt guilty for not wanting to watch any of the programs or listen to radio dedicated to it. I’m glad I’m not alone. I will keep it in my thoughts and I will pray.

  21. I just finished watching Dateline and I am in tears. It brings back wounds as if they are fresh again, but it also reminds me how our country came together and how strong this country is when we need strength. I don’t plan on watching anything else this weekend and will automatically turn the channel if I see anything with 9/11 on the screen, but tonight it renewed my love of this country and the sadness of all that were lost. God bless America. Keep us safe.

  22. I am finding myself stunned and appalled at the attitudes being expressed here today. Remembering 9/11 is not about picking scabs and opening wounds or exploiting the events of that day. It is about honoring and remembering the victims that perished because the U.S. was ATTACKED that day by a faction of radical Islamists, *despite* the pain we may personnally feel. It is important to remember what happened that day and how we felt so that we do not become complacent in the world we now live. If you look back through history, it is almost always complacency that allows the evils to arise. Complacency in Europe allowed Hitler to come to power…if the world had listened to Churchill rather than Chamberlain perhaps history would have been different.

    I am not a fan of NBC’s Dateline or of Tom Brokaw, but I watched their telecast tonight about the events of 9/11 and was greatly moved by the show. It was about the people of that day, the courage that was displayed by the victims and the survivors. It was not about politics or religion. It is the people that we need to remember and the sacrifices that were made that day and never forget the reasons for those losses or sacrifices. I will continue to watch the coverage this weekend no matter how painful it will be for me. I will also be encouraging my 12 year old son to watch with me so he will understand what happened that day. I want to see where we are as a country now and what lessons have been learned. Each year around December 7, there are many shows about Pearl Harbor and WWII. This year was the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the history channels broadcast many documentaries about it. On the History Channel and Military Channel are documentaries throughout the year about Vietnam and the Korean War. The 9/11 broadcasts are no different. As Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I, for one, will keep a box of tissues by my side as I watch and learn and pray that we do not have to repeat these tragic events.

    1. Thank you Kim J. Finally a voice of reason.

      To me 9/11 about survival and honor – a country and its people surviving a brutal attack and honoring the heroes who lost their lives trying to save others.



    2. Thank you for your clear and thoughtful post. In addition to honoring those who died, the most important thing, I think, is to learn from these events. Learn about ourselves as individuals, and learn from our reaction as a nation.

      We want to be safer, we want to prevent events like these from recurring. We should keep in mind the Winston Churchill quote as we reflect, then move forward.

  23. Kim J, thank you! I have been reading all these responses and trying to figure out how I was going to express how much I disagree with everyone then you did it for me. Turning off the news and shutting it out does not make it go away.

    And Geoff, I love watching you give my weather report – there’s nobody I trust more – and I’m thrilled you are on Fox now but you and I couldn’t be more opposite politically. It saddens me. I watched the special that was shown on the Fox News Channel tonight with my husband and my 14 year old. I will never forget where I was that day and I couldn’t be prouder to be an American.

    1. Laura and Kim – I read every comment and often learn from them. Sometimes they even force me to reevaluate my position.

      Disagreeing with what I’ve written is always welcome. I sincerely appreciate the time both of you have taken (along with the other commenters) to speak your mind.

  24. I agree, but I think the media likes to remind us of milestone anniversaries. Every ten years, we hear about the assassination of the Kennedys. Pearl Harbor is in there too along with the dropping of the Bomb on Hiroshima. If a tragedy occurred in our lifetime, it is run through the mill every 10 years after the event. I’m not totally without sympathy for the lost people or their families, but one can take only so much. The media doesn’t dwell on the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School or the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City much any more. They were tragedies just the same, but they are farther in the past and the memory is starting to fade, so they aren’t as newsworthy anymore. Given time, the tragedy of 9/11 will become a distant memory and a footnote in the whole scheme of things. That is, unless the government turns it into a Federal holiday.

  25. Addendum to my previous comment: Regarding Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, they were much farther in the past than Columbine or Oklahoma City, but they were also much larger tragedies in terms of lives lost.

  26. I agree some with what Geoff is trying to say, as well as what Kim J has said. The events of 9/11/01 will forever be etched in our minds and the horror of learning how it came about. It IS the historical event of our era, and will be memorialized for years to come. What concerns me is the amount of Prejudice that has mushroomed since then. We have become, to some extent, a nation full of fear, for all Muslim and other religions –that are not either Christian based or Jewish. Old wounds are being opened. We condemn first, then –if we don’t kill ‘you’, we’ll take it to court. People in my town were mauled and beaten, just because they “looked different” and wore different clothing–in the weeks following the 9/11 event(and they weren’t muslim!).In stead of carrying over the compassion and reaching out to help attitude that was so evident in the immediate days and weeks following the event, we withdrew in many ways. I am often shocked when I realize that some of my well educated friends, now display mistrust and verbalize hostility towards foreigners,and countrymen who speak another language. I don’t mind the reminders of the event, although we have had it televised and on the internet yearly, for the past 10 yrs. I just do not like what it has done to the open arms policy that this country stood for. Nor do I like to type of politics it seems to have spawned.

  27. Everyone grieves differently, and no one is right or wrong in their opinion. Some choose to face tragedy head on, others choose to try and go on with their day as normal as possible. I understand we must honor those who lost their lives in this awful attack, but for my personal mental well being, I need to focus on now, not then. It does not mean that I do not grieve, it just means the wound is still so raw, and it is best for me to honor our freedom by focusing on the “now” and what I can to to honor and support those that keep us safe. I do not mean to offend any one by this…..I just know what I can and can not handle emotionally. God Bless America!

  28. I agree with you. I won’t forget where I was that day or what happened that day though. It still hurts and I will try and avoid all the coverage on 9/11 this weekend.

  29. My father and mother wouldn’t let us forget Pearl Harbor and – although I recognized the horror or that day, it didn’t feel powerful to me. It was a memory to them: they can remember where they were that day the world took a turn, and remember seeing the hours/days -old news reels of death and destruction; it was only history to me.

    Likewise, 9/11 is real to me: I was there and can remember the moment my world turned; and can remember the news and the body counts that rose for weeks. So 9/11 is bigger to us.

    Unfortunately, profit – be it money or political power – is the big foundation of too many of these “memorials”. I honestly think we should ALL turn our TV’s off and leave the news papers on the door step.


  30. I also listen to NPR daily on my way to and from work. The 9/11 coverage I have heard introduces me to the people who were there. Some survived, many did not. That’s one of the things I love about NPR. They turn nameless, faceless strangers into real people, with families, friends, interests. This weekend, I will remember the horror of what happened that day – where I was, who I was with, the rumors, the truths. I will also celebrate those who survived. The man on the 87th floor of Tower 1, who spent 45 minutes walking down the stairs and made it out just before Tower 2 fell. The man who’s guide dog led him down the stairs. I will also mourn for our lost freedoms. Many of our civil rights have been taken away. The poem on the Statue of Liberty is now meaningless.

  31. I have no problem remembering what I was doing on 9-11-01 because it was my 20th wedding anniversary, and I saw a day of great joy for us turn to a day of tragedy. Tomorrow will be my 30th anniversary and it is now overshadowed by the OTHER 9-11. I feel guilty even considering celebrating on this day.
    My problem with the media is they feel they have to ram this stuff down our throats! I want to remember this day in my own way–I think of 9-11 every day without their help, thank you.
    And I agree with you Geoff–I won’t be watching any programs on 9-11 this weekend. My memories are vivid enough.
    I do, however, feel we should celebrate on this day the demise of the architect of this horror. Welcome to hell Osama Bin Laden, I hear its nice there this time of year!

  32. I’m torn in different directions. I’m totally with you- and that’s what I’m trying to do. On the other hand, a lot of people who had a loss need to share it with people who might get it. I’m OK with that. But I can’t go through the contemporaneous news reporting because it’s like the horror is happening again. I’m glad that we are remembering the event- but I think we can all do that in our own ways.

  33. I’m with you too Geoff. Why we have to go through this annual torture is beyond me. I grew up with the same thing over Pearl Harbor and the JFK assasination (as you did too). Enough already.
    Before 9/11 I used to volunteer to teach classes on Medieval Islamic Culture. I loved it and I was able to bring enlightenment to so many people. open their minds to things they’d never been exposed to before. After 9/11 I became a pariah at work and now all my teaching materials and books sit in a storage unit collecting mold and dust. Hundreds of dollars worth of books, some of which it took me years to find…all useless because nowadays you even MENTION Islam might not be as evil as they believe and people want to hang you. It depresses me no end.

  34. Double Yup!
    I grew up in Manhattan while those towers were being built.
    I wont be watching 24 hours of Texas tourists and Munchausen TV.

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