September 11, 2007

9/11 memorial lights.

Memorial lights at the WTC site, 9/11/2007

46 comments:

downtownlad said...

I'll give Ann a pass, because it's her first year in New York.

But six years is way too long to be mourning. I did nothing special for 9/11 and went out and had dinner and had a drink.

If we grieve the whole time, we are letting the terrorists win.

I only heard one person mention 9/11 today. She was covered in dust when the towers fell and almost died and she said it was time to move on.

Maybe it's different for non-New Yorkers, but those who lived through 9/11 don't need an anniversary to be reminded of it.

And the wingnutters who think today is a day to be more patriotic than though disgust me. They have no concept of what New Yorkers went through and to turn today into a political statement is opportunitism at its worst.

Doug said...

What is so wrong with remembering the fact that 3,000 people lost their lives in a horrid act of violence on this day ?

Or does the fact that it happened at all so terribly disrupt the latte-induced coma that many of us live in that we'd prefer not to think about it >

Luckyoldson said...

9/11...

...where id Dick Cheney??????

Luckyoldson said...

is

Luckyoldson said...

doug,
I agree.

Mourning is welcome.

Ann Althouse said...

dtl: It's not my first year in New York. I lived here for 10 years. But in any case, I'm not going about all day mourning, and in fact, I agree that excessive sadness over what happened is giving too much to the terrorists. You are confusing the gestures and words of respect for the occasion with a pervasive mood or an emotional reliving of the day. In fact, I am not experiencing that.

I don't think trumped up feeling is necessary, because I remember what the real feeling of that day and the ensuing months was like. It came instantly out of nowhere, and there was no need to summon it up or try to imagine or envision what happened. I remember that feeling and am glad that the even, normal feeling of ordinary life came back. I value that feeling -- normal life -- very much. The terrorists tried to take that away from us, and I'm glad that didn't work.

downtownlad said...

Why do you need an anniversary to remember them?

That's what's condescending to me. I think about 9/11 alot. I don't need a wingnut blog that is using 9/11 to advance the Iraq war to shame me into feeling bad in 9/11 (disclaimer - not referring to Althouse).

It's not the remembering that bothers me. It is the false grieving. It is the political divisiveness - the President using 9/11 to divide this country. It's sick.

I just went out and looked out my window and I saw the memorial lights. I literally live in the shadow of the former world trade center - and I didn't notice them until five minutes ago when I went out and looked at them.

But I look forward to the wingnutters who have never even stepped in Manhattan - now telling me that I'm in bed with the terrorists, and that by not grieving that I'm insulting the dead.

I was in New York on 9/11, so please don't tell me how I'm supposed to feel. What I DO feel is that this is a day that has been hijacked by a bunch of frauds. Frauds who insult my city on a daily basis as a bastion of liberalism, and then falsely try to claim it as their own on 9/11.

Bullshit.

Stephen said...

Such conceit downtownlad.
To hear it from you the Pentagon and Shanksville were not a part of that day. Did those places not live through that 9/11?
It was "The Great Satan" which was attacked that day.
New Yorkers - so parochial.

Lou Minatti said...

Thanks for posting that, Professor Althouse.

downtownlad said...

Ann,

Not sure if I made that clear but I believe your posts are 100% genuine.

But this is your first post-9/11 in New York as I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong). And that does mean something. The first few 9/11's I went through were very disturbing. I have no problem admitting that I cried like a baby on 9/11.

But there are many righty blogs out there that are using 9/11 to advance their agenda. Some left blogs too (but less so in my opinion).

That's what is most upsetting to me.

Six years have passed. I have no problem admitting that I have adjusted my psyche to the events of 9/11. I've adjusted my worldview. I now know that every subway I get on can be bombed. I know that my building can be blown up. It won't be shocking the next time. It's sad that the world has come to that, but it is so. But you have to keep on living. And time does heal these wounds. And people who act otherwise - I see as frauds.

downtownlad said...

Stephen - Are you now claiming that Iran caused 9/11, because they are the only country I know that refers to the US as the "Great Satan".

It may be news to you, but 99% of New Yorkers will think of the Twin Towers on 9/11 and not the Pentagon or the Pennsylvania crash. That's not parachoial, that's just what happens when your skyline is ripped apart and you have no idea which of your friends and family just died.

Ann Althouse said...

dtl, the truth is that being in New York has not made a difference for me, other than that I have a view that lets me photograph the skyline. When I was in Wisconsin on 9/11/01, even before I had access to a TV (and before I could get the internet to work) and I only heard the descriptions from my son who was in San Francisco watching TV, I had a very intense and present feeling for what was happening, down to feeling that the world as I had known it had been destroyed. The passing time is what mattered in changing that. Being in the vicinity has never made the same impression on me, and I'd visited the site twice before moving here last month (when I was in town for conferences).

downtownlad said...

Sorry Ann - I'm using your blog to vent at other blogs, which is not fair.

But blogs like Michelle Malking make me want to puke with quotes like "The 9/10 crowd stubbornly refuses to connect the dots to see any connection at all between 9/11 and the Iraq war." and then posting a picture of Cindy Sheehan and calling her a "9/10 person".

People can dislike Cindy Sheehan all they want, but to call her a 9/10 person is sick. On 9/10 her son was alive.

I have zero problem with being partisan. But do we really need to exploit 9/11 for partisanship?

Was the same done with Pearl Harbor? That's a real question - maybe it was.

downtownlad said...

By the way, I have disgust for the vendors at ground zero selling 9/11 souvenirs. And even more disgust for the tourists who buy them.

Pogo said...

That day drove a wedge between two views of the world that will not be reconciled merely by electing a Democrat somewhere, as even Osama acknowledges. The clock will not unstrike. No mere crime, this; it cannot be ignored.

Today I worked bit longer than usual. Little time for stray thoughts, here and there. Post to a blog that deigns to remember the day in earnest.

For awhile I sit and watch William Basinski's music video Disintegration Loop 1.1, filming the billows of smoke from his NYC apartment at the end of that very long day.

"In the process of archiving and digitizing analog tape loops from work I had done in 1982, I discovered some wonderful sweeping pastoral pieces I had forgotten about. Beautiful, lush cinematic truly American pastoral landscapes swept before my ears and eyes. ...I soon realized that the tape loop itself was disintegrating: as it played round and round, the iron oxide particles were gradually turning to dust and dropping into the tape machine, leaving bare plastic spots on the tape, and silence in these corresponding sections of the new recording. I had heard about this happening, and frankly was very afraid of this happening to me since so much of my early work was precariously near the end of its shelf life. Still, I had never actually seen it happen, yet here it was happening. The music was dying. I was recording the death of this sweeping melody. It was very emotional for me, and mystical as well.

...and we were literally sitting up on the roof all day and into night watching without believing as NYC burned, and listening to the heartbreaking Disintegration Loops…I thought…it’s the soundtrack to the end of the world..."

EnigmatiCore said...

"But six years is way too long to be mourning."

Six years is too soon to act like it was nothing.

Mourning once a year is appropriate.

For how long? The rest of our lives.

I'm glad that you are able to so quickly forget. And I am troubled that you are able to so easily forget.

George said...

Each year since someone first thought to set them shining, the simple and elegant near-perfection of the Twin Beacons has impressed me with greater force.

And with each passing year, as one human folly or another has interfered with the erection of any physical structure at all, let alone a structure remotely worthy of the intense feeling now associated with that spot, I am increasingly of a mind to say "Let's forget our grandiloquent Freedom Towers and such and just
Leave The Lights On, in perpetuity."

They are the best rejoinder I've seen to the recurring "Why can't we builds a worthy memorial?" question.

EnigmatiCore said...

Good lord, the partisans can't even stop on 9/11.

Knock it off. If you can't, not even on 9/11, then realize that you have developed a psychosis. Seek professional help.

Seriously.

downtownlad said...

Enigmaticore - Way to go - completely misinterpreting everything I just wrote.

I was in Manhattan on 9/11. I live less than half a mile from Ground Zero. Please don't insult me by telling me how I'm supposed to feel about 9/11.

downtownlad said...

Enigmaticore - You are the one being partisan, but you are too blind to even realize it.

Pogo said...

Re: "don't insult me by telling me how I'm supposed to feel about 9/11"

...as long as you agree to forgo the same critique of others; which was, I believe, Enigmaticore's point.

downtownlad said...

Pogo - People can feel however they want.

But if they're a fraud, as Michelle Malkin is, I'm going to point it out.

Luckyoldson said...

9/11 is a day that we will remember forever, but...I hope people here understand that the 1,800 civilians killed in Iraq last month, based on population, compute to 22,500 Americans.

They all had family.

They all will remember.

Just as we do.

Pogo said...

Imploring "don't insult me by telling me how I'm supposed to feel about 9/11"

is, unsurprisingly, completely negated by your immediately subsequent critique

"But if they're a fraud ...I'm going to point it out."

Maxine Weiss said...

Enough.

Let's eat!

http://www.pret.com/us/

Luckyoldson said...

EnigmatiCore said..."Good lord, the partisans can't even stop on 9/11."

You've got to be kidding.

Bush has been shoving 9/11 down America's throat for 6 years.

Would you also consider that..."partisan??"

Of course not.

losergrrl said...

GOD
DAMN
YOU
ALL.

Revenant said...

But six years is way too long to be mourning. I did nothing special for 9/11 and went out and had dinner and had a drink.

You've posted here for quite a while without giving any indication that you care about a single human being in the world besides yourself, DTL. Words like "shallow" and "self-centered" fit you like a glove.

So why should we be surprised that you react to 9/11 with a yawn? After all, *you* didn't die in it, and the other people don't matter.

LoafingOaf said...

Maybe it's different for non-New Yorkers, but those who lived through 9/11 don't need an anniversary to be reminded of it.

Yeah, that's why New Yorkers put up those huge beams of light I see in the photo, and why I just read in the news that the families of the victims went over your Mayor's every move on how to mark the anniversary properly.

I hadn't actually noticed it was September 11 till this evening (sorry about that). I was in a baseball chat to hype my Indians and trash talk with some arrogant Yankee fans, but the New Yorkers were busy talking about 9/11. I finally had an occasion not to be friendly with Yankee fans. :)

Maybe it'll take Downtownlad six more years before he stops trying to lord it over everyone that he was in New York on 9/11, and before he'll be able to wait more than 10 minutes from when a 9/11 anniversary photograph is posted before he starts using the thread to score political points even while saying he hates people who use the anniversary to score political points.

In the meantime, I'm curious how many times he's gonna post that he resides in New York City.

kimhill said...

"downtownlad said...
I'll give Ann a pass, because it's her first year in New York."


What complete condescending crap.

I was running from the debris cloud from WTC1 on 9/11.

Ann has it exactly right.

kimhill said...

Here's what I shot before I started running:

http://www.kimhill.com/links/wtc1.jpg

John said...

Downtownlad has disgust for people who buy and sell souvenir trinkets at ground zero, yet his presence in New York on 9/11 is his most coveted souvenir of all. He trots it out regularly, polishes it up, and wears it on his sleeve for all to admire.

hdhouse said...

Dear Downtownlad

You do it your way, those of us who think about it differently will do it our way.

It isn't a matter of "move on". Not in the least. I look at 9-11 as pure luck my daughter wasn't hurt or killed. That's one level and I'll just be specially thankful for that on 9-11.

I also look at 9-11 as a time when going to NYC for work suddenly became less of an adveture and more of a hateful experience...the armed guards, the national guard in the concourses, the security in buildings and the general feeling of living in a war zone/big brother city.

I also look at it as a time when we pretty much lost our political system, some as a part of necessity and some as a result of powergrabs, a time of record profiteering and rampant greed. I don't much like that. I don't much like at all that we are where we are as a result of this 9-11 and feel that there maybe some longterm or perm problems as a result. It caused a domino effect in our fabric that is distasteful.

So go eat your dinner, have your drink. You go your way, I'll go mine.

Cedarford said...

I had the experience of visiting several cities that were destroyed in WWII and the Korean War. Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Hamburg.

The scope of the slaughter and destruction in Moscow was hard to wrap my mind around, but the Vets I talked to were very interesting old guys. I asked a few about "the rest of the story" after battle, as they were also the rebuilders and the mourners.
They said they worked it block by block, as a people, with little time or effort for mourning or any great attention to corpses. The main thing was to get the country and the people back on their feet again. Mourning was there, but it was an indulgence...when they could afford it, which was rarely outside official commemorations which dwelt on more than the dead - the People living or dead that sacrificed...One told of clearing all the rubble on his home block and finding two families of his former neighbors that had died and been entombed for 5 years in a forgotten bomb shelter. Out into a mass grave they went..back to work he went..

In Hiroshima, where I visited again in 2004, the Japanese are proud that the city was mostly rebuilt in only 3 years. To them, the length of time America was "messing around" with rebuilding the WTC was a subject of curiosity....and pride. One woman said it appears that Japan would "beat" America - "Two buildings will take you a decade - we built a whole city up again in 3 years. What would you have done if an atomic weapon had been dropped istead? Would you even have stopped your grief ever and come back as (we) did?"
(Many Japanese were lost on 9/11 and they have nothing but sympathy for Americans outside their own belief that compared to what happened to Japanese cities in WWII, the Jihadist's attack was barely consequential, outside the symbolic value).

A foreign perspective is good for us.
2/3rds of those in the USA polled say that 9/11 is the most important event of their lives. In other countries, by their historical standards, an enemy attack that only kills 2900 people is pretty small potatos. And their grieving was not as disproportionate as ours has been over 9/11.

Pogo said...

Re: "In other countries, by their historical standards, an enemy attack that only kills 2900 people is pretty small potatos."

Mostly because state-sponsored mass killings are their province, not ours. It's hardly a badge of honor to be able to to move remorselessly from the single death that is a tragedy to a million deaths that is merely a statistic. I'll admit that Germany and Japan were goood at that, though. 6 million in Deutschland alone, give or take. 30 million under Stalin. 60 Million under Mao.

So yeah, their states are really, really, good at it. Such citizens must learn to value life cheaply, or not at all.

Maybe if the Japanese had been able to better mourn the Chinese they killed we wouldn't have had to flatten Hiroshima. It was their foriegn perspective that killed just a few thousand at Pearl harbor; more small beer to them no doubt.

Hell, we could have rebuilt the Twin Towers in just a few years had we agreed to set it all on the unsifted bones still at Ground Zero. Some thought that crass, however.

hdhouse said...

ahhh Cedarford, not to poke a stick at the mentally infirm, but the German drive on Moscow stalled about 20 miles out, you can see the line commeration of the drive from Sheremetyevo into the city. Actually the damage to Moscow was rather light except near the front lines. A careful reading of the battle of Moscow backs this up.

Contrary to your assertions, the grief of the Russian people was not subdued but is remembered in countless ways. Those still living who fought in the great patriotic war enjoy a special status and Russians I know and I did work and do business there for 10 years, have a particular reverance and rememberance of the conflict.

I think you must have landed somewhere else.

MadisonMan said...

"Two buildings will take you a decade - we built a whole city up again in 3 years. What would you have done if an atomic weapon had been dropped istead? Would you even have stopped your grief ever and come back as (we) did?"

That's an interesting question, and viewed through the prism of Katrina and New Orleans, says a lot about the way things are done in Japan vs. in the US.

Original Mike said...

Two buildings will take you a decade - we built a whole city up again in 3 years. What would you have done if an atomic weapon had been dropped istead? Would you even have stopped your grief ever and come back as (we) did?

I suspect the America of the 1940s would have done a lot better than present day America.

Fen said...

downtownlad: Enigmaticore - You are the one being partisan, but you are too blind to even realize it.

No dtl, you are the partisan. Its obvious that you want to dump memorializing 9-11 because you feel its being wrongly used for political purposes. You can't separate the mourning the loss of life from your BDS, so 9-11 has to go.

Same way you ignore the threat of radical Islam. Anything in your world that justifies Bush must be tossed out, no matter how dire or relevant.

It will funny to see how quickly your spots change once Hillary is POTUS. All of a sudden you'll understand why we are in Iraq and how it relates to 9-11.

Walter said...

But I still annual events about Hiroshima every August 7. I was a big deal, still is to many Japanese, American, and Europeans.

9/11 will continue to be a big deal to a lot of people for many years to come. An anniversary is not such a bad thing (there are several other anniversaries that are recognized). The amount of stuff that is done for those will fade with time, but hopefully the reason for the anniversary is not forgotten.

Chip Ahoy said...

You're outdoing yourself with these.

Richard said...

Ann-- I'm really enjoying your New York City posts. Somehow, I missed the post that says why you're there, but as long as you are, have an adventure!

knoxwhirled said...

I was in Manhattan on 9/11. I live less than half a mile from Ground Zero. Please don't insult me by telling me how I'm supposed to feel about 9/11.

My jaw dropped at this. After all the self-righteous ranting, you pull out *your* 9/11 experience like some sort of trump card!

Your off-the-charts, foaming-at-the-mouth screeds of self-contradiction never cease to amaze and amuse. For all your bluster, you won't be taken seriously until you can prove that you are more than a black hole of hate with utter contempt for anyone who holds even a slightly different view on any given subject.

Revenant said...

Two buildings will take you a decade - we built a whole city up again in 3 years.

Someone should point out to the Japanese lady in question that we were running her country at the time. The reason they rebuilt the entire city in three years is because we wanted them to, and because we helped them do it.

The best to the Japanese question "What would you have done if an atomic weapon had been dropped instead" is something along the lines of "hope that the people who dropped it are as generous and helpful to us as we were to you".

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Thank you.

From Inwood said...

Rev

Your 9:38: Spot on.