In Retrospect – 9/11 and Humanity

I’m a few days late in posting this, but truth be told, I forgot all about this until I started going through my portfolio earlier this week. After re-reading it, I think it’s worth sharing with my readers. I wrote this shortly after 9/11; I haven’t edited or changed this in any way, as it accurately expresses my sentiments based on the story that was shared with me at that time.

So, my friend S went to NYC for the first time ever. Never been before and was eager to check it out. She arrives with her younger sister and they feel a little afraid since they have no clue where they are. Understandable would you say? Sure. As I understand it, they dumped off their gear in a youth hostel and just began walking. If you’ve ever been to NYC, you’ll know that it’s much more fun (and less stressful) to walk – take in the sites, and not miss out on anything that would merely be a blur, should you opt for one of those life-threatening cab rides.

S and & company walk for hours – six, to be precise. She stops in front of a church. A memorial service is being held, and S assumes
this has something to do with the 9/11 tragedy. She was right. It was very sad she said, to see mourners, mingled with photographs of the deceased or missing. S keeps walking, and accidentally finds herself at Ground Zero. Shock and horror stop her cold, as she stares at the heap of rubble looming before her. A quick gathering of thoughts allows her to focus on the number of people lingering around the ‘scene’ where the incident occurred almost four months ago.

Tourists and spectators alike, cameras in hand, search for the “perfect spot” in which to take a photograph, and, when uncertain, they stop a brother in blue, to inquire “Is THIS the best spot officer?” S walks away in tears, emotionally aghast at this obvious lack of respect for the thousands who died on 9/11. Disgusting.

That such a tragedy occurred, that it not only affected ONE nation, but many – that this should be trivialized by tourists looking for a good shot is abhorent. It is sickening to think that human beings can be so uncaring and oblivious to this tragedy. While I can understand a person’s curiosity to see the site for themselves, I cannot understand what would posess anyone to stand before it, and take pictures, as though it were the Eiffel Tower. While the heap is massive, there is nothing GRAND about it. While it burned, there was nothing exciting in it. While the twin towers collapsed to the ground in billowing clouds of smoke, there was nothing dramatic about it. Tragic, yes. Hollywood drama, no.

And imagine, how that cop felt, when someone asked him if that was the best spot to take the picture. Imagine the thoughts that ran through his mind, as he stared at the person in front of him, when all he could see were the fading images of his brothers and sisters. Was it the best spot?



6 thoughts on “In Retrospect – 9/11 and Humanity

  1. Thanks for posting this. I remember when you wrote it 🙂

    I remember that day so clearly, how it looked, and sounded, how it smelled. And I remember the anger and disappointment I felt while watching all that was going on around me. And I remember that cop, and how he kept his composure when all I wanted to do was smack that toursit upside the head. I don’t know how he did it…

    It was the day I bonded with NYC…and it didn’t scare me anymore.

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