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5 thoughts in the NY Times about 2001/9/11

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It feels ironic that the title of this section of NYT is labelled Happy Days:

Views of a Day
By THE EDITORS
Reflections from five Happy Days contributors on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, eight years on.

Nathan Schneider, writer
Tim Kreider, cartoonist
Eric Weiner, writer
Michele Madigan Somerville, poet
Pico Iyer, travel writer

I have pasted in the last paragraphs of the contributions from each of these writers:

He didn’t make us leave, as the cops normally did. He drove away. Perhaps he recognized the mystery at work in us, which we ourselves couldn’t be sure of, by which we were somehow, in playing, planning our next move as a generation, planning the future of the world, and we should not be bothered.

— Nathan Schneider

Sept. 11 came at the end of an idyllic but somehow flaccid decade when a half-century’s threat of mass immolation seemed suspended, and the single biggest news story in the U.S. was not Kosovo or Rwanda but an act of fellatio. Suddenly seeing the same people we sit in traffic or ride mass transit with dying horribly may have made some of us take leave of our reason, but it also restored things to a truer perspective. It reminded us, briefly, that life is real. —Tim Kreider

Within minutes, the unbelievable, unfathomable, details broke through our self-imposed information blackout. The hotel staff found a television, somewhere, and hooked it up in the lobby. A few dozen of us gathered around, as if the Sony Trinitron were a fireplace on a cold January night, the flickering light conveying not only news but, oddly, comfort as well. We experienced those horrible events together, much more so than if we were sequestered in our rooms. Nobody said much (What was there to say after all?) but that didn’t matter. Suffering shared is suffering diminished, a quirk of human nature for which I remain deeply grateful.

— Eric Weiner

New York City has always been an experiment in hope. Somehow my children, like many of their friends who lived through and remember 9/11, see their hometown as a kind of holy city worth fighting for, a Promised Land, whose strength, courage and resilience nourishes them. Young as they are, they feel it belongs to them. They know they have inherited it, even as they grow into it, and someday, embody it.

— Michele Madigan Somerville

I met cheerful souls among the headstones in Aden, and I know a few in Santa Barbara. But if that cheer is genuine, I’m not sure if they’d be feeling better or worse now than they were on Sept. 11, 2001. Only more compassionate, perhaps. Looking to our circumstances for strength, solace or support is like dancing at the edge of a very deep grave.

— Pico Iyer

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/11 at 04:47

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