Monday, May 2, 2011

Reactions That Matter - 5/1/11

Where United Flight 93 fell

It was echoed often in the last dozen or so hours: we will remember where we were when President Barack Obama told the world that Osama Bin Laden – a pepper-bearded Hitler for generations removed from his reign of terror – was killed by a brave group of Navy S.E.A.L.s. We will remember it because of unbridled celebrations across the country and immediately somber remembrances in the three impacted areas.

We’ll remember it because we still manage to rightfully worry about revenge and repercussions; though anyone who reside in major metropolitan cities and travels often have moved about with internal terror alerts.

We’ll remember it for reasons we honestly shouldn’t; Obama apparently cinched a re-election still nineteen months away, how the news affected Celebrity Apprentice ratings, ‘ghost of bin Laden’ social media accounts and alleged slips of the tongue between the names Obama and Osama.

In these parts – the DMV, Shanksville, PA and New York City, we’ll remember it because we can’t forget 9/11 even if we tried.

In the hours after news broke, there were stirring reactions. Many of them were rather unfortunate; 5/1 gave the cynics, conspiracy theorists, outright ignorant and combinations of the three the biggest high they will ever reach. It elicited horrible jokes of either poor form or just plain unfunny. We have those lambasting the euphoric chants of “U-S-A!” and those staunchly defending it.

However, at least for this Scribe, there are a few reactions that matter more than others. For starters, Ted Walker at Pitchers & Poets eloquently reminds us that there are generations of kids who know nothing more than a world that changed after 9/11. The post may or may not speak to those questioning the abundant xenophobia, but it should shed some light on where it comes from.

Two others were rather poignant. Though I won’t mention their names, they are fellow native New Yorkers who work in the sports media field; one I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years and the other goes back to my high school days. It’s the native part that resonates strongly. Being from here and having familial connections to Lower Manhattan, the only people who mattered to me on 9/11 were those who called New York or the DMV or suburban Pittsburgh home. With all due respect and love to those not from here, for this immediate time, they still are the only ones that do.

  • "I saw the first plane fly into Tower One. I lost five friends that day. Then I had to work in ground zero that evening and for the next three months as a part of the (redacted) Recovery Team so I saw the devastation first hand. So this is a great day! Justice has been served. Thank You President Obama!"
  • "Seems amazing this happened. Really got to a point where it seemed like it wouldn’t matter too much… but it’s so unbelievably important.

    "Suddenly the idea that people paraded enemy bodies throughout the streets seems a lot less barbaric, but then maybe we rather not think we’re just as barbaric.

    "It’s weird, but I still feel like we have some sort of monopoly on the pain. Sure it’s their country, but it’s our home."
Say What?!?!: We still have room to be better.

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