Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

Amanda and Bitch Ph.D. alerted me to this photo essay at Vanity Fair, commemorating 9-11. I still find it hard to believe that it has been 5 years since this tragedy. I remember quite well what I was doing the morning of: getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist. The Dentist's wife came in to announce that a plane had hit one of the twin towers. I assumed, like many, that it was a very poorly prepared pilot in a Cessna (I think that early reports had disseminated this misinformation).

When the second plane had hit, I got a call from my colleague Emma who demanded to come over and watch the BBC at my house. I cancelled class and sat in front of the tube, with Emma, for 10 hours. I haven't really allowed myself to look at much footage of that day since. I had seen enough for a lifetime.

Since that day, I have come to loath visits to my Dentist. And, oddly, I think that there is some relationship to why I won't go back and that fateful day. Shortly after the attacks, I noticed that the lobby in my dentist's office included a big, flat screen TV tuned to Fox News. And, the next time I showed up there was a huge framed poster of the American Flag and firefighters with some text attributed to George W. Bush.

How differently this attack affected me compared to my dentist. It radicalized he and his wife; making them passionately committed to the Bush administration. And, it woke me up to be more concerned and attentive to how the Bush Administration has capitalized on this tragedy to garner more political support for their own agendas. This day of tragedy has been milked for all its political worth.

So, today, I just want to contemplate this picture above and how it is both haunting and comforting.