why this day makes me angry and not merely sad . . .

. . . and I suppose this is hypocritical, since it’s true that I was not living in NY at the time . . . but nevertheless, I am perpetually frustrated that people who have no personal connection to this day insist on appropriating it anyway . . .

some don’t agree with me, but I can’t help it. It still makes me angry.

  • I was sick to my stomach when I saw ads a few weeks ago for the “Ground Zero Museum Workshop“, whose website informs us that “You will have 15-minutes to purchase posters and books or for extra questions.”
  • I wanted to turn around and bitch-slap the woman behind me on the double-decker tour bus (aack!!! I have to admit that I was on one of those!) who informed her husband that she simply had to stop at Ground Zero . . . “I have to pay my respects.” To WHO?! Tell me whose name you know . . . tell me which friend you lost on that day. Tell me you’re not merely appropriating someone else’s trauma for your own purposes . . . and maybe, just maybe, I’ll leave it alone.

In the meantime, I’ll promise not to come to your hometown and show up at your most holy, sacred places of mourning in shorts and sunglasses, taking pictures and pretending that your tragedy belongs to me when it REALLY DOESN’T, if you agree to show the people of New York the same respect. Thank you.

if you’re interested, here were my thoughts a year ago today . . .

I also just found out that my father and stepmother lost a friend that day . . . seven years later, and still not all of the stories have been told . . .

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8 thoughts on “why this day makes me angry and not merely sad . . .

  1. I see your point (or maybe I’m missing it altogether??), but I just think that many American’s (me included) feel that the attack on WTC…and the Pentagon…was an attack on the country, not an attack just on New York City (or DC). While I knew someone who knew someone who was killed, I wasn’t impacted directly. Or was I? The company I worked for eventually folded because the economy was in a tail spin and corporations weren’t purchasing like they did on September 10th. OK – maybe that’s a stretch (I’m certainly not equating here!), but it was my reality at the time. No matter what folks distance from Ground Zero was, the ripples of the event rolled across the country. BUT…the fact that it wasn’t just an attack on NYC and was meant as a message to the entire country – I think that’s why us non-NYCers feel the need to pay our respects to the thousands that gave their lives. Just like folks go to see the Vietnam Vets (or insert any other war) memorial in DC. AND, it’s the reasons these types of memorial’s exist – so we can not deny that it happened…to feel the impact of and scope of the event. To mourn…

  2. I know what you are saying. Remember our drama loving co-workers who felt the need to have a break down and cry, etc when they didn’t even have loved ones anywhere near the WTC or Pentagon? First thing I thought of was Sunday, who worked near there and then Max, etc. I think I asked you if you had heard from Max. And there we were, trying to keep it together and some woman is in the bathroom hysterical saying she can’t work, it is too traumatic. Good thing none of those people live in a war torn country. My whole point was that we had a previous bombing on the WTC and this should have been prevented. Also we are lucky. As a country, we do not have to fear bombings in our every day life. Like someone in Lebanon, Iraq, Georgia, I could go on. I think we should be respectful of this day and the dead and the people who were first responders. I guess I hate the use of this day for jumping on the patriotic bandwagon. You will find no flag waving here; if this country would have been paying attention then the acts of terrorism could have been prevented. Also the treatment that the widowed and first responders are receiving from the government is less than stellar. So yes, mourn the dead and salute the heroes but remember there is still much work to be done here in the good old USA.

  3. Yes, I can understand that this act of terrorism did have far reaching effects in the entire country not just New York and people do want to come pay their “respects”. What I can’t understand is how buying t-shirts or hats with “NEVER FORGET” spelled out in red, white and blue is respectful.. To who?? I knew several people that died that day and 7 years later I still have not gone to the “pit” or whatever they call it. I see the lines of tourists peering in.. taking pictures and it just reminds me of rubber neckers slowing down so they can see if there’s any blood of the pavement..
    What’s disturbing to me even more is that 7 years later it’s still nothing more then a hole people go to gawk at…. shameful.

  4. @ Kris . . . I definitely do not disagree with your point . . . and for people who come to it with that attitude, then I don’t at all have a problem with it. I think the problem comes when people are appropriating it for their own purposes–people like the ones Tracy talks about above. For weeks after September 11th, I became the sounding board, the person off which everybody else bounced their own pain, (I think I just killed a few metaphors there. hmmm.) just because they felt like they had an “in” through me . . .

    It’s as if you were at a family member’s funeral and someone came up to you and cried for twenty minutes about their own poor, sainted mother and their precious dog Buffy. I just feel like some people use any kind of tragedy to work out their own grief issues, issues that have nothing to do with said tragedy, and in the case of September 11th, I just find it particularly egregious.

    Again, Kris, I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, but I think what bugged me about the woman behind me on the cheesy tour bus was that she was so smug and self-righteous about it, and for whatever reason, the guy she was with didn’t feel the same way. I just felt like she wanted a medal. Add to that my ingrained-at-birth disdain for tourists, and it’s just a bad combination.

    I realize that many people (including some of my friends who are also from there) don’t agree with me, but it’s just how I feel . . . and I definitely do NOT mean any disrespect to anyone who genuinely wants to show their support . . . I just don’t want people who were truly directly affected, who remember what the city looked and smelled like that day, to have to carry the appropriated grief of opportunistic gawkers.

    but I’m not bitter . . . not at all! 😉

  5. and Rosemary–THANK YOU for explaining some of what I feel about this far more clearly than I could have.

    I didn’t see your comment until after I’d written mine, or I wouldn’t have bothered trying to say in 500 words what you said so eloquently in 100 or less. (and no, I didn’t actually count the words!)

  6. “I was sick to my stomach when I saw ads a few weeks ago for the “Ground Zero Museum Workshop“, whose website informs us that “You will have 15-minutes to purchase posters and books or for extra questions.”

    Greetings to you from Ground Zero Museum Workshop, the 9-11 Nonprofit Museum in NYC that “makes you sick to your stomach for allowing guests to purchase books and posters.” I’d like to take a moment to respond to your snide comments about this Museum and it’s “posters and books.” What should make you sick is that our touching, little Museum isn’t federally funded and must rely on selling tour tickets, sell ing posters (of tasteful images) and a book (that happens to be endorsed by many well-known and outspoken 9-11 family members) JUST TO PAY THE BILLS EACH MONTH. As founder of the Museum, which has a near perfect 5-star rating, myself and ALL OF US at the Museum work very hard each day to keep the memory alive of those who perished on 9/11 and those that struggled at WTC to recover their remains. I don’t appreciate you judging us when you have not even stepped foot in here to see what we do. Visitors, whether they are 9-11 families or people from Australia who have no connection to 9/11, should have the right to purchase and take home tasteful and touching images of remembrance from the Ground Zero ‘Recovery’, where I served as “Official Photographer for the NYC Fire Unions.” I am also an FDNY Hon. Battalion Chief and I assure you we don’t hawk images of the planes hitting the towers or anything tacky here. Tasteful images are oftren bought here, which guests then take home and erect as a remembrance to those lost is FAR from ‘Tacky’. Those that choose to forget history are doomed to see it repeated. If you would like to come down and tour the Museum (a 2-hour well-organized tour), I will even leave a free ticket for you. In the meantime, please don’t hurl stones at us for doing such important work. No one is getting rich here. If you would like to find an alternate way for us to bring income in to pay the bills, then we are all ears. Thank you – MARLON S. // Founder // http://www.GroundZeroMuseum.com

  7. (posted and emailed)
    Marlon,

    I know that it has taken me a long time to respond, and I apologize for that. I also apologize for making assumptions about what you were or weren’t selling . . . I think the problem I had was in seeing it advertised in a glossy brochure, right next to Madame Toussaud’s and the Nike store. And yes, I realize that you have to advertise, and I’m not necessarily finding fault with that . . . honestly, my problem is more with the hordes of tourists who continue to treat the site, and the occurrence, like it’s just another item on the “things to do when you go to NYC” checklist.

    I also have known people who died on that day. (fewer than most, I know, for which I count myself “lucky”.) And I also know people who LIVED through that day, and who still bear deep emotional scars from having witnessed that terrible day. I think that ultimately, you and I share the same desire–that this day will be remembered, and that the memory of those we’ve lost will be honored. So I apologize if you took my rant personally–and I apologize for speaking hastily . . . it was just my visceral reaction to having been home the week before and having to be subjected to the gawking of those who really just have no idea . . .

    again, my apologies . . .

    peace,

    Lorraine

  8. Pingback: reflections – year 9 « I wanna love You better whatever it takes . . .

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