I didn’t do anything overt to commemorate it; I just did my job.
Eight years ago, it was different. I did my job that day as well, but it was far different from today. Back then, our department had a lot of students from the Middle East. (Since then, it has been rare for a Moroccan, Saudi or Pakistani student to get into the the country on a visa, much less our program.) Some of our students knew what was happening, but most of them didn’t tune into the news in the morning and didn’t have access to computers in class. Us teachers would run up to our offices during the breaks and check on the news. It was horrifying. I sent emails to see if a friend who worked in the WTC area had been heard from.
Later, I heard rumors — started by a women I later learned does nothing but lie — that all of our Arab students had walked out of classes in protest. It wasn’t true.
I spent the next two weeks trying to keep going at work, despite the worry and the questions, and crying as I watched the reports on tv in the evening.
Over the next few years, work was difficult. Our student population dropped and we had to do some creative things. It was a difficult and stressful time, but at least I had a job and my friend in NYC was safe.
I remember how Cheney wanted to have a parade on this day a couple of years ago. Thankfully that was scrapped. We don’t need this day to turn into a holiday or a day of showing military regalia. There have always been blogs that have threatened that people will forget, unless we remain afraid and ignorant. There will always be some who want to politicize this day, despite the families of the victims trying for years — and finally succeeding this year, in turning it into a day of service and remembrance. (And yes, Michael Berry, President Obama didn’t come up with this idea, but he did finally formalize it — just as the families have been asking for — for years.)
And then there is Glenn Beck. Fresh off of getting not one but two scalps from the Obama administration, he’s off to the Mall to gather 2 MILLION people to shake their fists at the nation and demand that we all get together and I don’t know, let him be president or supreme dictator or something. His loyal followers are following 9 things and 12 other things and supposedly they surround me. I haven’t seen them yet, but I am a private person, so perhaps they are still looking for me. It also reminds me of another book by Mike Gallagher titled, Surrounded by Idiots. Perhaps these hosts need a thesaurus?
I don’t have cable, so watching the wall-to-wall Fox News coverage of tomorrow’s get together in D.C. is not an option for me. Sigh. I will check in and see if any bloggers claim that the Capitol Police have estimated their crowd size (they actually don’t do that anymore . . .)
Here’s a straight forward and cathartic response to Beck.