It has only been 11 years. Not even a full generation's worth of time has passed since 9/11. Yet already the day is being relegated to the past, to just another day.
The concept that there will be no remembrance in Lacey this year is difficult to absorb. It seems that it should take longer, perhaps 20 years or more, before 9/11 is moved to the back of the shelf.
I know that some will always remember. Those that still face the prospect of kissing their loved ones goodbye, knowing they may not return. Our police, fire, EMS and military seem to get it. They also seemed to get it before the attacks, so I cannot say it surprises me.
I understand that these are hard times for the people of Lacey and the rest of our country. I do also believe however it may be too early to simply do nothing on 9/11. I do not think we are there, or should be there, this soon after the attacks. We have gotten to a point in our history as a people, where we seem too capable of moving on, getting over it. Can we really say we are at that point when it comes to 9/11?
As I write this, I understand that I am biased in my view. No matter how many times you see the towers fall on TV, it will never compare to seeing them crumbling down straight above you. The ground rumbling so hard that every third step misses the sidewalk. The incredible noise, followed by the silence, and the darkness. I believe however, that my bias is equally shared by many.
Never forget. Very simple words. Words to remind us that September 11th is no longer another day in the calendar. September 11th is a day to remember the victims, whose only crime was having the audacity to go to work, or get on a plane. To have their last day on this earth end so violently. To remember the heroes, who knew what they faced, yet chose to go and meet the evil head on. To look up at the towers, or at the Pentagon, or the door of that cockpit and know that there is work to be done.
The months of funerals, countless hours of searching for those we had lost, if only to give a family some sense of closure. The scores of pictures posted on walls and windows all over NYC by those trying to find their family and friends.
I know the time will come when 9/11 is just another page in a history book. That it may be marked by its own federal holiday or some other concept. I am prepared for that time to come. I just didn’t think it would come so quickly.
I will be with my brothers and sisters on Tuesday. I hope that the people of Lacey will also find a way to mark the day, with respect, and reverence.
Dec. 7, 1941...Nov. 22, 1963...July 20, 1969...Sept. 11, 2001.
All simply dates on a page, just small slivers of time. Yet these dates are inscribed on all of us as a nation, as a people. They are what tie us together.