Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

5 Short Years

The reason why we honor anniversaries is so that we never forget important days.

September 11, 2001 has gotten away from many of us, as memories are wont to do. Whether by human nature or human cowardice or our collective inability to accept the unacceptable, it doesn't matter. I understand that part of letting things like this slip away from us is because it would overwhelm and kill us if we didn't, and I understand that. The problem with this is that it has faded away from the horror it was and into something we are all trying desperately in the 5 years since to get comfortable with. I for one cannot accept that. I don't WANT to 'get comfortable' with it, I don't want anyone to do that even though I know that is what happens. I'm still stuck in a place where in the immediate days after 9/11 I remember going to the grocery store and seeing people doing yardwork on their lawns, and washing their cars, and I was angry that life was going on in spite of what happened. It felt outrageous to me that people could somehow go on with the more boring, mundane aspects of life in the wake of a nightmare like this, I forgot that sometimes we find comfort in that sort of thing. I forgot that life goes on. I still forget that, but I'm a man with so much unfinished business in life that it is difficult to accept this now and then. Things like grief don't get resolved for me, they just take root and refuse to go anywhere. I'm grief constipated, when you get right down to it - about people I've loved and lost, about things like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Asia, you get the idea.

I feel very raw and exposed right now fora variety of different reasons, but what is really very much on my mind at the moment is what is going to be happening on Monday in this country and around the world, where people will stop and think and remember and have those conversations about where they were that day and what they were doing and how they found out, etc. I'll be doing the same thing, I'm sure. I'll also be thinking about the phone call I got on September 11th 1993 telling me my brother was almost murdered and in a complete panic I had to meet my family at the hospital ER to find out if he was going to live or not, what happened, and try to help my siblings, parents, and his children cope with what happened that day - which all these years later I still have bad dreams about.

So for the remainder of this post, I'm going to let others say some of the things I cannot say right now and let video be more powerful than any commentary I could add. I just don't have it in me right now.

From Truthdig:
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, we have assembled a collection of the most memorable and compelling footage related to that day—some of it iconic and unforgettable, like the images of the planes crashing into the towers, some of it more below the radar, like Jon Stewart’s first show after the attacks.

They run in a generally chronological order.

If you have other videos that you think should make the list, post them in the comments box and we’ll add them.

(Warning: Many of these videos are extremely graphic and disturbing. And although some may find this presentation unnecessarily morbid, we present it because we had forgotten how viscerally powerful these images are. This is due to the fact that not long after the attacks, most television networks stations decided en masse not to continue airing the images, as viewers apparently found them too disturbing. Well, five years later, we feel it’s appropriate and, yes, necessary to remind our people of the barbarity of those who attacked us on Sept. 11 )
CNN footage (culled from an amateur photographer) of American Airlines Flight 11 crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. Also includes professional footage of United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower at 9:02 a.m.

Amateur footage, from close up, of UA 175 crashing into the South Tower

The entire 911 (not 9/11) phone call made by Kevin Cosgrove, a 45-year-old vice president of Aon Corporation, headquartered on the 105th floor of No. 2 WTC. Heartbreaking.

People leap from the Twin Towers to their death below

Defense Department footage of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. (the camera only filmed a new frame roughly every second, so there exists only one frame of AA 77 in flight before it crashes)

Amateur footage of the South Tower collapsing at 9:59 a.m. (contains heart-wrenching screams of pedestrians gathered around the photographer)

Watch it here

Professional footage of the North Tower collapsing at 10:28 a.m.

Professional footage of No. 7 WTC collapsing at 5:20 p.m.

“Bush’s Response to 9/11” – amateur, but expertly-assembled movie that juxtaposes the New York City-based events of 9/11 with Bush’s Florida-based “response.” Devestating.

Bush's Response to 9/11
"Bush's Response to 9/11" on Google Video
Bush's activities on 9/11 during and shortly after attack on twin towers. Footage from 9/11 Chronology.

Bush’s ‘bullhorn moment’ standing atop the rubble of the WTC. Some call it his finest moment – never mind the fact that it happened on Sept. 14th – three days after the attacks.

David Letterman’s first show after the attacks, widely praised by critics as setting the tone for the days to follow

Dan Rather cries twice during the interview segment of the same Letterman show

Jon Stewart delivers a heartfelt – and at times funny – monologue in his first show after the attacks. Pitch perfect.

For a more crass response, listen to the Howard Stern show while the attacks are actually happening

The trailer for the soon-to-be-released movie “9/11: Press for the Truth” – about the efforts of the “Jersey Girls,” women who lost husbands in the World Trade Center attacks, and who almost single-handedly goaded Republican lawmakers into holding hearings into the attacks. Watch It Here.

Tags: 9/11
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