The past seven times the calendar has landed on this day I have experienced a conundrum, and today is no different. First of all, has it really been eight years? Can time really be passing by this quickly? How do you adequately acknowledge the events of this day in 2001 without cheapening them, being utterly cheesy, or making it more about you than the actual remembrance?
When I was teaching we stopped for a minute of silence at the end of the announcements before continuing on with our day, but seeing as how we had a mandatory moment of silence everyday, I'm not sure this 9-11 moment of silence really stood out as anything different. My students all lived through that day and have dealt with the ramifications of it, but for the most part they were too young to grasp the levity when it actually occurred. They oblige in the silence, but I'm not sure it has much effect on them.
I have seen no ads for any sort of TV specials or an address from the President this year, but I would imagine in 2011 there will be all manner of tenth anniversary spectacle.
My news feed on Facebook today is littered with Alan Jackson song lyrics and reminders not to forget; as if that were possible. I was driving to work listening to NPR and the announcer had breaking news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. He obviously didn't know the magnitude of the situation, and the way he said it conjured up a picture of a small private plane; in my mind the plane suffered more damage than the building. I was totally unprepared for what I saw on TV later in the day.
Movies have been made, money raised, a deluge of first responder TV shows launched, monuments designed; but soldiers are still deployed and families are still incomplete as a result of one day.
It feels wrong not to acknowledge it at all, but no acknowledgement really seems appropriate. I guess all we can do is say a prayer for those affected directly, support the troops, ensure this country remains one worthy of all that sacrifice, and make the most of every day because time really is going by this quickly.