I waited to write this post until late in the day. I was curious how the eleventh anniversary would be marked across the country. Eleven years after, we have passed two milestones. A little more than a year ago, the primary organizer of the attacks (no I will not mention his name) was killed. Last year this was still fresh and many people asked if we would enter a new chapter in our collective remembrance. The other milestone was the tenth anniversary. We love our round numbers, and as silly as it seems, a decade seems a natural time for our psyches to move on to a less burning form of grief.
As many suspected, today’s ceremonies were more subdued than they have been in past years. Anger has faded. We’ve stopped asking Why? and come to understand that once you look closely, there are no satisfactory answers that can explain why madness does what it does. Politicians have moved on and left families to handle the day themselves. And what is largely left to those who choose to mark September 11 th , is reflection.
Over the last six years I’ve talked to many people about the events of that day, and about how chose to move on. Some were family or friends of those who died, most weren’t. And I’ve noticed a pattern.
September 11 th has been used by politicians to further their own points of view. But the rank and file have generally treated the day as a day to forget the things that make us different. I’ve made sure to keep Project 2,996 free of politics, but was neither the first nor the last to make that decision.
If you look at the anniversary over the last few years, you can see that gradually, 9/11 is becoming a day to focus on the things that we agree on, instead of this things that separate us. It’s become a day to forget about partisanship. There are early attempts at making it a day to do something positive—a day to help others—whether through blood drives or charitable work.
I can’t think of a better thing to do on 9/11.