Taking a Moment to Pause and Reflect 2021

Try to remember the kind of September

When life was slow and oh, so mellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When grass was green and grain was yellow.

-“Try to Remember,” from The Fantasticks.

I have been in a mood this whole week, realizing that the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, was upon us. It feels surreal that it has been 20 years.

20 years ago, I was trying to figure out how to make any use of my last year in law school, and then that Tuesday happened. I didn’t imagine the entirely different landscape that we’ve had since. I never imagined that all the crises and calamities we’d be through.

20 years ago: I didn’t think that we’d be in a pandemic. I didn’t think that the progress of, say, 15 years of rebuilding downtown Manhattan would be reduced to misery by the pandemic. I didn’t think that Afghanistan would be such a regression, leaving much to be desired about our moral values as a country, let alone what moral values were in Afghanistan.

20 years of what, as far as we went forward and as far as we have not done enough, I’d say.

It’s a Saturday and we’re in the 2nd year of a 9/11 anniversary during a pandemic. I woke up to watch the moment of silence on television for 10:28am, when the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center fell. I let out my own moment of wondering and feeling despair.

I managed to get out to the Brooklyn Promenade after all, earlier this evening, awhile before sunset. There was a prayer circle of a family and people just walking their dogs. It was peaceful. I didn’t stay long, but it was nice.

I do wish all a peaceful and thoughtful day.

This NPR piece, “How To Talk About 9/11 With A New Generation Of Kids,” Sept. 9, 2021, was worthwhile. The experts explained about being clear with kids about what happened, accepting the discomfort, and being able to share your own feelings. And, I liked how the piece closed: “And the answers — that it is possible but hard and that we have to help each other — are as relevant today as ever.”

Dan Barry’s piece over at the NY Times, as part of 20th anniversary observations, raises “What Does It Mean To ‘Never Forget’?” Barry notes:

Barry’s piece is worth a read, because I do wonder what we’re asked to do when we’re told to not forget. Memory is a tricky thing. We’re only human; perhaps that’s the most important to remember – never forget you’re only human.

Photo I had taken some years ago, at the Brooklyn Promenade.

See here for last year’s post, for more photos or observations.

“‘When I hear “Never Forget” for 9/11, my next question is: “Never forget what?” said Charles B. Stone, an associate professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. [….] ‘Probably the closest answer is: Never forget that it occurred,’ Dr. Stone said. ‘But it’s the little details that will be forgotten.'”

Since I’m the one who brings up The Fantasticks’ lyric about September, I’ll note that FC shared this over on Facebook, so I’m passing it along: “Wake Me Up When September Ends” – Green Day (Cover by First to Eleven). As FC said: “Today’s soundtrack – ‘twenty years have gone so fast.'”

Take a moment to pause and reflect, and thanks for being here. — ssw15

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