September 11 is still today.
On September 12, 2001, I read ee cummings’ poem “what if a much of a which of a wind” as a prayer for a gathering with my shocked and grieving co-workers. Today, and every time I read that poem, I am living September 11. Today I repeat the words in the last verse.
what if a dawn of a doom of a dream
bites this universe in two,
peels forever out of his grave
and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
Blow soon to never and never to twice…
And I think of the words of the widow of a worker in the South Tower:
I didn’t want that day to end,
terrible as it was. … it was
still a day that I’d shared with Sean.
We still share today with Sean, his wife, and all those affected by what happened today.
When I posted about the visit Anne Mei and I made to the National September 11 Memorial Museum, where I saw those words inscribed on a wall, someone posted a comment that the events of September 11, 2001 were just a hoax perpetrated by our government to justify going to war. A few years later, when a friend visited the Memorial Museum, all he could talk about was being turned off by the videos of Bush, Cheney, and Rice. (I had actually skipped the long line to watch the showing of news clips from that time so I can’t say whether that would have affected the overwhelming emotions of standing in the midst of fire equipment and paraphenalia listening to the constant beeps of the locaters for downed firefighters.)
In this moment we need to share the day with the thousands of innocent people who were killed today and their loved ones, not show how enlightened we are and above the manipulation of memorials. After that we can work to fight those who have besmirched those who died to justify unending war and to foment hatred of Muslims and others. I can get impatient with those who in their righteous anger can’t take a moment to remember the dead, but I will never forgive those who use the events of today to kill more innocent people around the word, undermine democratic rights and processes, and destroy this land of immigrants.