9/11 forever…

As we have for 12 years now, on this day, Americans are posting/talking about/thinking about September 11, 2001:

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I found this flag on Denis Leary’s status update: he of Rescue Me, the fx series he created to show us some 9/11 First Responders as they continued on with their tragedy-informed lives. It was one of my favorite shows of all time and I wish it was still on. But things change.

Of course today, many facebookers reminded us “never forget” and to remember the doggies who served, too:

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And of course, we do. I wonder where they are now?

Here’s some art–and oh, there is lots of art–using the photos of our countrymen and women lost on that fateful day:

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Pretty awesome, right? Makes me wanna cry, just like I did that day. And for the next several…

But I also watched a video today that made me wonder if the feelings we shared on the original 9/11 are still with us? It features people being nice to each other for no reason other than the idea that we’re all in this together. It was a feeling that we all had that day in 2001, but it’s one I think, now, gets more talk than action. Don’t you?

We were so close 12 years ago today; really, we were brothers and sisters, united by our grief and anger, ready to stand up to the bad guys and get them. It was one of the only times in my life that I’d felt like that, one with my countrymen. It might have been the only time, I don’t know. It surely was the “most” time: I wanted to hug everyone who was going through the horror of having someone lost or hurt; I wanted to strangle the terrorists with my own hands, safety be damned.

I couldn’t even think about the poor human beings who were crushed and still alive, but lost under the rubble. I can barely stand to think of it now. The only relief I found was many days later, when I could be sure they were finally, mercifully, gone.

I have family in NYC, and it took awhile for us to learn that they were okay. My youngest cousin was in the second building, I found out later, and she walked those stairs–how many were there?–and across the bridge to safety in New Jersey. It took a long time, and all day for her sister to finally reach her, perhaps on the thousandth try. The cell phone finally rang, my cousin said hello, and that was all she said before it cut out…but that was enough for her family to know she was okay. My God, I think, I would have gone crazy if…I can’t even say it.

So on this 12th anniversary of the worst day in our current memories, I send thoughts (I’m not much for prayers) and love to everyone: those gone and those who remain with the sorrow that gets refueled every year on this day. For us–and for many across the world–this day will always, always make us sad. It will be 9/11 forever.

But are we the better people we swore to be that day? The day when we came together like never before as AMERICANS? The day that we say changed everything?

Or has everything gone back to like it was before, just a little sadder?

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