If I were working as much as my employer thinks I should be this morning, I’d have no idea that it’s 9/11. Or that it’s flooding in the Southeast. I think we all get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that it’s easy to forget– or ignore– the things that are surrounding us. Days like 9/11 and devastating natural disasters make such ignorance impossible, but the farther away we get from those incidents the more we fall back into the self-focused grind of our own lives.
On Sept. 11 each year since 2001, there’s nonstop talk of “unity” and “love” and “togetherness” for those 24 hours. But every Sept. 10 and Sept. 12 it’s always back to the same. Not a matter of “forgetting,” it’s that America had issues well before 9/11/01, and a moment like that can’t change the trajectory of an entire country.
If they are starting to forget, I can’t tell: I live in NYC, and on the way to work today, I saw FDNY personnel on sidewalks in their dress uniforms, some of them in rows, with heads bowed in prayer, some of them putting up fresh banners of remembrance. Long red fire trucks—usually tucked in stations—are parked on the street for all to see.