The following note expresses my own opinions and not necessarily those of the Friends Along the Road organization. – Dave Pierce
Oh Friends along my road, the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks is upon us, and for several days now I have been monitoring bereavement sites on Facebook and throughout the Internet, as well as television and print news outlets, to see how they are focusing on it, how they are narrowing down topics to carve news stories out of it, presenting various viewpoints, and generally trying to sift meaning from the event’s ever-recycled rubble. There are myriad human interest pieces, thoughtful reflections, hopeful suggestions, statist pronouncements, angry declarations, dark theories and counter-theories, and some caring sympathy pieces. All I know is that I am and always have been terribly sad for the families and friends of those who were killed or maimed, and for all of us, who grieve and hurt in many ways because of what happened – and the resonance of it that continues through our lives.
As with you, I know that the images I saw on TV that day are with me for life. But also with me is what I saw happen after, following closely the words of the president, the coverage by the media, and regarding it all from the perspective of someone attuned to grieving and support of those in grief. Astonishingly, the families were not immediately offered consolation by officials, and other agendas were forced to the front of our attention. But for me it is, first, about the families and friends of those who died.
Second, it is about the rest of us.
A few years after the attacks, I had as a regular passenger in the airport transportation van I drove a New York City fire chief whose knee was destroyed by a falling body part; this kind man’s story, shared with me then, personalized everything and made me realize that we had all been injured. I realized that shock-waves from the attacks had spread outward, to the world.
Much focus has been placed through the years on who dunnit, but my focus will continue to be on the families, on the lives of all who died, and on all of us who continue to live through 9-11, including the first responders, the citizens of New York, and, indirectly, everyone in the world.
I may have more to say on this topic but welcome your thoughts, from a bereavement perspective.