Ten Years Later, III

Charlie at PeachPundit:

There is merit to a cathartic exercise for all of us to collectively remember and relive the shock, horror, and bundle of emotion that poured through confused and frightened Americans on September 11th, 2001. The day now stands alongside November 22, 1963 and December 7th, 1941 as times when Americans were collectively shocked into new realities of the world around us. The day was transformative, and it changed us.

Less focus, however, is paid to where we stood as a nation when we awoke on September 12th, 13th, and the days and months that followed. For a brief moment in time, the word United in United States of America meant something more than it normally does. Partisanship was set aside for decisions on what the country needed to do in order to begin repair, to seek justice on those who orchestrated the cold blooded murders, and to ensure that the country would not face such atrocities again.

To fully appreciate the spirit of unity in the days that followed, we must remember how divided the country was the morning the planes took off. We were less than one year from a bitter and unprecedented re-count in a Presidential election, with many Americans still claiming the Presidency of George W. Bush illegitimate. The Senate had been under Democratic control for less than 4 months, as the Democrats were able to convince Jim Jeffords of Vermont to switch parties. The partisanship was bitter and tense. On the morning of September 12th, however, it did not seem to matter.

“Our last funeral” at HotAir:

The next major anniversary will be a generation removed from the attacks, with the average college student having been born a few years before or after but in either case having no recollection of what happened. It’ll have to be explained to them, and some of us who endured it won’t be here to explain. I spent last night grieving at the thought that young New Yorkers are already watching footage of the planes hit the towers and feeling no electric charge of familiarity; in a way, the World Trade Center to them will be what the Polo Grounds is to me, a landmark from a lost New York but never part of their own template of where they grew up. When asked where the attacks happened, they’ll say “where the Freedom Tower is.” We live in the same city, but we don’t really.

This is, then, our last funeral in the sense that it’s the last that’s truly “ours.” The shared experience, already slightly diminished, will soon begin to erode in earnest, and while people will never forget, increasingly they won’t exactly “remember” either. Count yourself lucky that you have memories of the world as it was before, not because it was better but because it’s gone. Others aren’t so fortunate.

Ten Years Later, II
Ten Years Later

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