9/11 Reflections

by Tracee Sioux

I saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center in person, I snapped a photo at that very moment. The anniversary of 9/11 is something everyone on television will be talking about today. They will all be running the most graphic and terrible footage they can find.

I won’t say they shouldn’t show the footage. But, I will say the images that haunt me from that day, and the images still do haunt me, are not the ones I saw in person. They are the ones I saw on television over and over and over. My brain kicked into self-protection mode in real life and I couldn’t even believe my own eyes until the television confirmed it. And television confirmed it with graphic horror shown over and over and over until it now resides as wallpaper in my brain.

It’s important for adults to understand what happened on that day. But, the watching of the footage over and over isn’t good for the mental health. Not good for me, not good for you, and absolutely unfit for children.

Keep in mind that you can DVR shows you want to watch and view them after the kids are in bed. I want to see Oprah’s show on the surviving children of 9/11, but I don’t think I’ll let my kids watch it.

To all the rescue workers out there, I remember what you did. I remember why you did it and I think it’s a disgrace that we, as Americans, have not offered you a lifetime of free health care as you struggle with 9/11 related illnesses. I remember the smoke, the smoldering fire that lasted weeks and weeks. I remember how you risked your health to save any one, any one person you hoped would have survived.

To the leaders who’ve been questioned before Congress for allowing the search to go on too long or whose decisions during that time have been questioned. I remember those missing posters wallpapering the city. I remember how unwilling to give up hope for survivors the families were. I remember the pundits and anchormen using their patriotic banter to encourage the search to go on and on and on. I remember how devastatingly hard it was for the city to look at the thousands of faces on the posters lining the subway stations and fences and accept the fact that they weren’t missing – they were dead.

Every leader who stepped up and made the hard calls and hard decisions should get a free pass on 9/11. There was no handbook, the graphic horror of that day was unprecedented. The shock city-wide and national was real. At least they didn’t curl up in the fetal position and sob like I did.

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