I was debating on if I should post anything or not but then I figured; this is my blog. So, sure. Why not? My original post was the usual mile and a half long but I condensed it down into a few short paragraphs. I think at first I felt like I needed to explain myself for why I feel the way I feel but I decided that I don’t. I can’t change how I feel. It might be an unpopular stance but so what. Here it goes..
I don’t feel like September 11, 2001 really impacted me.
What I mean is: The events that day, the people’s lives that were lost, the buildings that were destroyed, the city that was damaged, the hearts that were broken; it didn’t directly change my life. I lost no one. I didn’t know what the “Twin Towers” were or what a World Trade Center was when it happened. (Even now, I don’t really know what operations were going on other than a bunch of businesses, at least one bar, and a couple of art studios.) I’d never been to New York City or on a plane. It didn’t give me the chills when I saw the news unravel on the television in my classroom or make me stop what I was doing.
Every year, I try and “get it.” I watch endless amounts of programming on TV; countless documentaries. I’ve read the news articles and the statistics. I know the story. I’ve educated myself on it. I feel empathy towards the families that have lost loved ones. I sense the pain when I watch or read anything surrounding the date but I also get upset when I watch a Lifetime movie.
I’m not trying to be the asshole here. It would be so much easier to feel the same way everyone else does, honestly. To raise America up on some kind of high pedestal like we’re the only ones that have lost people is obnoxious. We’ve killed just as many if not more after the war than on that day. We are supposed to teach our children to stand up for themselves and not bully one another but the country we live in can’t do that. War and murder is not standing up for ourselves.
And I don’t agree with the argument: “9/11 is about the people we lost. You don’t care about the people lost?” Of course I do, I’m not a sociopath. But the thing is, America’s 9/11 isn’t about the lives we lost. Our society pretends it’s about the people we lost, but it’s about a bigger issue. Getting back at whoever did us wrong.
I’ve found over the years that it’s best to keep my mouth shut because if 9/11 didn’t directly impact you and you voice it out loud (God forbid) than you’re the bad guy. I really never mean to be insensitive I guess but it seems like in the land of opinions, everyone that has an unpopular one isn’t entitled to one.
The only reason I remember exactly where I was, wasn’t because I was in shock. It was because my teacher told us to remember where we were because we’re going to need to know where we were for the rest of our lives. Like it was some kind of test. No explanation, no moment of silence, no nothing. Just remember where you are. Or else.
I’m not completely cold-hearted, I promise. I am capable of compassion. I wish I could pray the pain away for those who’ve lost loved ones that day; for them to find closure if they haven’t and comfort when they need it. I wish for the families of the firefighters, paramedics, and police to know that their deaths were not in vain. For the civilians that had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and were merely just civilians; the people on the planes (who, by the way, I feel are very rarely mentioned) I pray for their souls and for their families.
But I’m not sorry that I can’t fully grasp the “never forget” symbols spread nationally each year all over social media. I don’t disagree with it but I also can’t fully stand behind it or I’d be lying. Pretending that I gave a real shit. This goes back to me stepping on hot coals but I feel like people blast social media these days with 9/11 pictures to just prove to each other that they “never forgot.” And maybe that’s what my issue is: People who act as if the tragedy really meant something to them when it didn’t. You posted a picture, that’s all. Did you actually participate in a moment of silence? Did you pray for those lost? Did you lose someone? Did it change your life?
There isn’t a huge gathering for my classmate each year that committed suicide a couple of years ago. There isn’t a yearly prayer service for my grandpa who died when I was a baby. I don’t expect people that didn’t know the people I’ve lost to mourn for me. To “never forget.”
And I hope that those truly effected by the 9/11 attacks do find comfort after 14 years to know that their loved ones are still with them, just in a different form. I just think (obviously my opinion only) that just because you post a picture and say “never forget,” are you just doing that because it’s 9/11 and you’ve been instructed to never forget or were you impacted? How is 9/11 connected to you other than by a tv screen?
Again, as I stated from the beginning of my post. This isn’t meant to be insensitive or stir up trouble. I was in 6th grade when the planes hit the twin towers. I didn’t know what they were. I didn’t know anything about New York City or their significance to the country. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s a lack of education on my part? I don’t know. And again, this isn’t meant to offend or insult anyone who was directly impacted by the attacks.