Five Years Later...

Well, we're five years into the post-9/11 world. I told myself last week that I was not going to mention it in this space as it will likely be the most blogged topic of the day elsewhere. I woke up this morning, looked at iCal, saw the date, and realized it probably should be the most blogged topic of the day everywhere.

I have no poignant tribute or pithy summation...just the following observations.

I'm appalled at CNN's decision to rebroadcast the 9/11 events in realtime this morning. The crassness that must predicate this decision is unfathomable. As one person commented "I wonder if they'll provide a printable coupon for popcorn too?"

On 9/11/01, I was teaching a first hour class on Current Events at the Schilling School. Sometimes I wonder what happened to those kids - most of them in their twenties now, and can barely remember a time when we weren't at war with terror. And against terror. And in terror.

On 9/11/01, if you had told me that five years would pass without another major attack, I would have thought it impossible. On September 11, 2006, I still think another attack is inevitible, but most of America won't notice because they'll be watching a reality show on TV. TV is a little like pot in that it makes most people dumber over time. Should this earth continue to spin another few thousand years, they'll uncover our subdivisions in great archeological digs and announce "Surely Panasonic was some sort of god....".

Having started this post at the kitchen counter, I've now moved to the prayer room, where we're closing in on our seventh anniversary of 24/7 prayer. I'm struck with sobriety today....a sobriety of contrasting perspectives that I must embrace.

On this five year anniversary of that horrid crack in time, how does a timeless spirit-being, enveloped in a physical body, respond to physical terror? On one hand, we will soon be liberated from this body of death. On the other, we are tasked with utilizing and stewarding it to the best of our ability. It's as if God Almighty gave us a pouch of dust and told us 'Watch this for me..." to see if we would do it...and in waiting for His return, we've become convinced that the pouch is full of pure gold.


Jonathan said...

This was a good post.

Regarding the rebroadcast of 9/11/2001, I saw yesterday that FoxNews intended to do the same thing. I don't really know what I think about this decision. I tend to think that it was not made in bad faith. That being said, here are a couple observations.

I never suspected five years ago that anyone (ok, well certainly not as many as have) would question an attempt to monitor phone conversations of suspected terrorists. I never suspected five years ago that anyone would question an attempt to gather data on call patterns of suspected terrorists. And I certainly never suspected five years ago that several key news outlets would be praised for revealing the existence and details of these programs on their front page.

When I consider the above, I wonder (I don't know) if perhaps it might be beneficial for networks to re-air - and for people to re-watch - some of the coverage of 9/11/2001, not out of a great desire to be entertained, but out of a great desire to be reminded.

jen said...

Actually, I think it's very good that they're rebroadcasting the coverage. Although some may watch from ghoulishness, some will watch to remind themselves of the incredible horror of that day. We too easily forget, allow the pain to be covered up by everyday life. We need to keep perspective--it's sort of like a reality fast in reverse, don't you think?

shawn Blanc said...

I think we all remember where we were when we heard the news about the attacks. I was at home, getting ready for work at my summer painting job just a few weeks before I moved to Kansas City.

Nate said...

Hey Randy,

I'm Shawn's cousin - I caught a link from his page.

I also actually watched the real-time coverage of 9/11 on cnn's webpage. I think one reason I did is that 5 years ago I didn't see much of it - I had a late class and slept through a lot of it. On top of that I didn't care as much then. It sounds callous but I just didn't understand how big those events were, and the tragedy was almost unreal. I think having grown up some and especially having walked those streets in NY I was ready to look at the original events again to understand how terrible they were.

It does seem a little opportunistic of CNN to do the rebroadcast, but then again someone ought to do it. Otherwise it's almost like we're stuffing those events in Orwell's memory hole. Think, for example, of all the kids that five years ago didn't have any idea what was going on, who are more adult now and need to see those things again, or for the first time.

Sorry to clog up your comments with all this but it was on my mind pretty heavily that day. Watching the video pushed me to look into the events and their aftermath more than I had done. So for me at least it was powerful and provocative, and I didn't eat any popcorn.