Thursday, March 09, 2006

An Open Letter to People Who Lost Loved Ones on 9/11

Dear People;

September 11th, 2001 was a national tragedy that directly touched the lives of all New Yorkers and indirectly (but just as sincerely) touched the hearts of all Americans who felt our pain in the midst of a direct attack on our native soil.

I personally witnessed the burning towers from my LIRR train on the way to work that morning as I was headed out to Hicksville. I’ll never forget thinking that this was just some kind of freak fire burning as the train I was on wound over the horizon line as the buildings were in mid-burn (they quickly disappeared from view and collapsed only a few minutes later). It wasn’t until nearly an hour later, when I arrived at my job, that I was informed that the towers had collapsed and what the circumstances of that situation were all about.

I have friends who live only a few blocks from (the now known as) Ground Zero and I called them immediately upon arriving at work. I’m pleased to say that they were miraculously fine. Strangely, though I was able to reach them only two hours after the disaster, I was unable to reach them again by phone for almost another week.

I felt nothing but sympathetic horror for the people who lost friends or family in the twisted metal and liquid flame of those collapsing towers. It’s sincerely hard to imagine the pain they must have felt as, over the course of the weeks that followed, the pornographically explicit footage of the violated towers being penetrated painted the airwaves in a snuff film loop that repeated the deaths of thousands of innocent lives over and over and over again in-between the commercials.

I have nothing but sympathy for these poor people and their grieving families.

But would the rest of you (and I like to think you know who you are) please just shut the fuck up already?


I watched the network news tonight (Channel 7, 11pm) and saw the sister of some firefighter who was lost during the 9/11 tragedy protesting about the 9/11 memorial being built in the footprint of the World Trade Towers. Apparently it’s not big enough, reverent enough, or whatever word she’s pulling out of her ass about it not being SOMETHING enough to please her self-important sense of suffering.

Lady, I am sick and tired of people like you making the healing process for all of New York some kind of masturbatory love fest. Also, I’d be curious to know, if I may be so bold, to wonder what your feelings might be for a memorial for the fifty-thousand dead Iraqi citizens who were murdered by the misguided vengeance of the idiotic Bush administration. I don’t see the media reporting on anyone complaining about that misguided memorial these days, wherever (or if ever) we might see one.

Sorry to seem so cold and dispassionate about this, but I can tell you that my 9/11 experience does include the fact that I have reduced vision in my right eye due to the fact that an iron sliver got lodged in my retina when I went downtown to visit my friends for the first time a week or so after the attack. Thanks to the dumb cunts at the EPA declaring the air absolutely clean and breathable, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has suffered some minor physical ailment from heading downtown too damn soon.

I mention this, of course, not to elicit sympathy, but to make it clear that 9/11 is NOT some disembodied, foggy notion on the horizon for me. I may not have lost a loved one during that catastrophe, but I sure as hell didn’t come out of it unscathed.

But I’m not a self-important American idiot either. I have enough of a life and enough self-respect to suffer quietly and not worry about what memorial is being built to honor the people who took psychic shrapnel in the aftermath of this sad chapter in our history. Oh, and they’re out there – and most of them have a lot worse damage to show for it then I’ll ever have. I respect that, and if you’re not one of them (or dare I say one of us?) then so should you.

I just wish that these unsatisfied shit-stirrers with nothing better to do with their time felt something similar.


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