Posted by floatingbridge on September 13, 2011, at 13:24:00
In reply to Re: 9/11 » sigismund, posted by jane d on September 13, 2011, at 5:01:11
I am taking your post as a launching off point for observations, if that is alright with you. I certainly do not hold you answerable to anything, but rather would like to stand beside you and look at what we can see together. I hope you do not mind and feel free to comment or not as you feel compelled.
I haven't read the entire article (is it free to register?), and
upon re-reading, did not find it preachy; it was your comment that focused my attention on the excerpt again (thank you). The rhetorical style did have that swollen feeling that oftens ends essays and speeches, but I felt very quiet and reflective after reading the excerpt. And sad (my default position). I
am not ashamed or overly apologetic being an US citizen, bit feel a kind of creeping uneasiness in the wake of Sept 11th and our national response. It was like waking out of rem sleep into a stark reality.
I felt horror, shock, and despair as if I was witnessing a
beginning of an end, the history of the/my world broken into a before and after which would remain irrevocable. At the same moment I watched the planes crashing and the smoke and heard the frenzied calls, I went into a PTSD kind of mode and knew in my bones that beside the pathos and tragedy on US planes and cities that millions of lives would be crushed in the ensuing events. I had been asleep.
So my terror was a double terror. The personal and the global. I turned off the t.v and the radio and refused to see again and again chemical and soot filled faces of the firefighters, the emergency crew and the bystanders who rushed to help, the homeless and frightened who crossed the bridges on foot, those who jumped from the towers in personal moments of panic, despair and one can hope, a
final grace and acceptance of their death. My own brother was supposed tom work that day in a nearby building and by chance did not, but we did not know that,and all circuits were down. He saw the towers fall, and it is an indelible part of his life, as it would be for any person witnessing such spectacular destruction on the most beautiful morning of September.
I wept and shook and watched a very frightened George Bush Jr react less than my heroic ideal form the speeches which declared a crusade against an axis of evil.
As quoted in another post, history was now a rudderless ship blown on the winds from the depths of death. That is how I felt that day, all at once.
I taught at the time, and an pall fell over acedemia. Any speech suggesting even temperance and considered reflection was labelled treasonous. Strange imagery rose from the pages of the students' papers despite their intentions, like the flip-side dream image of logic and reason. In these papers, the argument, whatever it was about, would break into images of eagles soaring head and shoulders above the rest of the world--as the so deserved according to the authors. Where did this come from?
Did the US deserve the attack? No, absolutely not. No one deserves such treatment. I remember the pictures of Mussolini, his body beaten until he was a sack of crushed bone. It isn't even the question of did he deserve it, but did anyone in the world deserve to do that to another?
After being raised with the caricatured figure of Hitler as the face of evil, I feared that whatever had feuled that righteousness had somehow began to root in this country as well. Does this entitlement belong to America (US)? To Germany? Or any one country, or does it have to do with power itself and empire building? I don't know, because the answers are beyond me. I still argue over the most mundane affairs within my own household and find myself using my will and power over my son just when I feel like I am being such a good parent by doing what is necessary.
This is an excerpt of my memories, my thoughts, I who still love and fear the myth and promise of this country and in whose soul these are indelibly stamped.
I dig a pony.