Every Day, Every Day

I put this up every yearbecause it was the first thing I read after 9/11 that made sense to me.

I remember I was doing this stupid story, about three weeks later, interviewing this comic. I can’t find the story and I can’t remember his name. I feel bad that I can’t remember his name because I’ve never forgotten what he said when I asked him about humor, and tragedy, “Every day is 9/11 for somebody.”

And the Buckingham Palace Guard played our national anthem:

And, Molly Ivins wrote:

I was in Paris on Sept. 11, 2001. The reaction was so immediate, so generous, so overwhelming. Not just the government, but the people kept bringing flowers to the American embassy. They covered the American Cathedral, the American Church, anything they could find that was American. They didn’t just leave flowers, they wrote notes with them. I read over 100 of them. Not only did they refer, again and again, to Normandy, to never forgetting, there were even some in ancient, spidery handwriting referring to WW I: “Lafayette is still with you.”


15 thoughts on “Every Day, Every Day

  1. I’ve struggled with depression for years but the serious depression that came after 2003 felt like it wasn’t not just mine, but the country’s. I felt our anger I felt our fear. The fear that they used to get everything they wanted was repeated again and again.
    And I got angry at the people who, when the time came when we could have united, decided to divide.
    What kind of people do that? What sort of sick, small-hearted people took the love and support of almost the ENTIRE WORLD and said, “Not good enough!”?
    People like Donald Rumsfeld who didn’t see enough “good targets” in Afghanistan.
    I think my trajectory of involvement mirrored a lot of people. Letters to the editor (never got any published), protests, blogging, reading about what was happening and talking to people. It wasn’t until I started to fight back at the people who pissed away our connections to others that I started to feel better. But then they used their power to crush effective opposition.
    I’ll remember 9/11 but I’ll never forget the cravenness of the people who decided that this was an opportunity to preemptively start a war and keep pissing off the REST of the world and half of the people who didn’t vote for them.
    Do I think that there are people who have died in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries during the GWOT who will become the Bin-Ladens of this century?
    Yes. Sadly they might not have existed in the numbers that they do now because we didn’t stop Bush/Cheney. We were so afraid (and made to be afraid) that we said, “Yes, torture, war, nukes ANYTHING just make it stop!”
    We asked to be protected and we got an out of control state instead. We have a short attention span in the media, except during anniversaries. Every year we have an opportunity to point out just how bad this president botched things. This is why inexperience counts.
    This is why you need a press that is skeptical.

  2. Such a lovely people, the British. I was living in London when Terry Anderson and Donald Sutherland were finally freed from Lebanon. When the news came, everybody in my office came by to congratulate me. Just because I was an American, and they were happy for us. It was so touching, every time somebody came in, I cried. Just because it was so beautiful to know that people would care.
    I’m with spocko–how do you throw that all away? Now I feel like I ought to go back just so I can apologize.

  3. I hadn’t ever seen the Buckingham Palace clip.
    “Lafayette is still with you”!?!?!?
    George W. Bush is an epic, epic fuck-up. He will indeed be remembered, but don’t count on any statues in his ‘honor’.

  4. Yeah, and we return the worldwide sentiment following 9/11 with “Freedom Fries”.
    I was going to say that one could love one’s country while still feeling shame for some of its (and its citizens’)actions, but then I remember that the cons and neo-cons are unable to feel shame, because feeling ashamed of one’s country is “unpatriotic”.

  5. I remember being pretty numb after the actual events of 9-11 and it was while watching the news and seeing that changing of the guards clip that things kinda hit me.
    I bawled like a little kid.
    I remember thinking that the whole world was on our side.
    And look at us now.

  6. I was talking with a coworker this morning, and I said that I remembered how, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, everybody I knew wanted to DO something. People donated blood. People made sandwiches for the rescue workers. People gave money to the Red Cross. People volunteered to help at the site of the WTC.
    And it was more than that: people wanted to do something big, something GOOD. The will was there, the yearning was there, the desire to change things, to see this as a turning point.
    And George W. Bush took that energy and told us to go shopping. And he and his people told us to be angry and to be afraid, and to attack other people.
    And all that good will, all that positive energy, all that American desire to make things right, was pissed away, as Bush played the politics of division and attacked everybody who wasn’t cheering for him loudly enough as “unpatriotic” and his press secretary told us to watch what we said, and it all went down the drain.

  7. I remember, a few days after 9/11 and bushes speech about it, actually telling my rethug coworker, the one I had argued with about the corruptness of especially republicans but also too many democrats, that I was willing to put aside my misgivings, and support bush in his efforts to bring the terrorists to justice. I actually gave the chimperor the benefit of the doubt. I still feel foolish for that momentary lapse of judgement on my part. Boy, did I learn that you just can’t be too cynical.
    Spocko – good points. It’s been a disheartening time – and a big reason why I continue to value so many bloggers like A and all of you regulars.

  8. Sid, same here. I thought, “Okay, George, you’ve been a feckless halfwit princeling up till now, you were made president because people couldn’t be bothered to work things out in their heads, you’ve had a middling few months in office, but now you have this. Let’s see what you do with it.”
    In my wildest, reddest imaginings I couldn’t have pictured what they did with it.
    Our system is built, on some level, on the basic expectation that we are decent to one another, and I refuse to begin to view that as a weakness, because that’s what they want.It’s not a sign of weakness to want the best from your leaders, to expect and even to hope for the best. The fault ultimately is not in the people who trusted him but in the betrayal of that trust and it’s easy to blame yourself, oh, I was so stupid, but there is a critical difference between naivete and idealism and we confuse the two, a lot.
    A lot of people looked at 9/11 and thought that was their moment. The thing is, you always think you know who you’re going to be, in that moment. You always think you’re gonna be the hero, on top of the pile, with the flag. Sometimes you’re the goat, on an aircraft carrier, beneath a banner that’s a lie. And if there’s one thing I’ve been taught by better and smarter people than me, over and over again, it’s that you never, ever know who you are, until you do. That isn’t letting them off the hook; they’re responsible for the assholes they decided to be. It is, though, admitting there was a choice, and they went one way instead of the other.

  9. What do you remember about IX/XI?
    I remember Karen Hughes’ speech at evening-news time. Don’t worry, America. The President is safe.
    I began then to have a sense that things were way, way, way too screwed up for anything good to come out of it.
    I had no idea how right I was.

  10. The first thought I had was of the chickens coming home to roost. If that makes me bad or “un-American”, so be it.
    The French have done so much for the country and this is how we repaid them.

  11. A, this is why I like disaster stories. I know, it’s ghoulish, but what I always get out of disasters–the Triangle Factory Fire, the Hartford Circus Fire, the Titanic, the Galveston hurricane, the Johnstown flood–in every one of these, it always seems that there are more people who end up being good and decent to each other than there are people who are awful.
    Yes, there are the awful people, but I’m with Anne Frank. I believe that people are basically good at heart. Sometimes it just takes a crisis to prove it.
    9/11 and the responses of *average* Americans to it showed me that. It’s a colossal shame that the awful people in that case were the ones in charge.

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