Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years later...

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history...There is a tiny splinter group, of...a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

Dwight Eisenhower

I was there. September 11, 2001, I was in New York--the state, but not the city. Upstate. I was at a Sufi Retreat Center, attending a training for my work.

We started gathering for our morning session when we got the news from our group leader. Shock. The center is rustic and somewhat cut off from outside news, as retreat centers often are. None of us had heard before she told us. Several people had felt the "disturbance in the Force."

Terrorism takes many forms.

As we waited for news, we joined in prayer and upholding everyone involved. We tried to still our own swimming minds. We tried to figure out what this meant about our trip home, since all flights were grounded.

SO and I were on the first flight out of Albany, once the grounding was lifted. Eerie. Security tightened. On the way home we laid over in Atlanta. Nothing was on time. No one was sure when they would be able to get their connecting flights. Armed guards strolled the corridors and rode the trains between terminals. When we got on the flight back to Portland, several large men had already boarded. I turned to SO and said, "I don't think they are all Elite Club Members."

Of course, we won't forget. How can one forget such a horror? How can one perpetrate such a horror?

Countless lives were permanently altered that day. I was scared and inconvenienced. As far as I know, I don't know anyone who was in the buildings or on the planes that fell. But I do know someone who went in to help clean up the aftermath. Read her story here.


kario said...

Unfortunately, I see all of the admonishments to "never forget" as more fear-mongering. You're right. Of course we will never forget. I recently read an article out of Seattle about a group who is mustering efforts to "pay it forward" on Monday the 12th in an effort to build community and do something proactive. That's much more my cup of tea.

kario said...

Holy crap! I just read your friend's essay. I am shattered. What a courageous soul she is.