I’d like to preface this post by saying that the intent of Inherently Meaningless is to showcase and improve my writing ability, not to be a regular blog poster who discusses topics of all shape and size. However, during my first three classes this morning the theme seemed to revolve around September 11, 2001 and justifiably so. With that said, just for today bear with me on this post because I’ve got a lot on my mind that stretches back to that infamous date, because of the discussion that has permeated the classroom, Facebook, Twitter and multiple other social media outlets. I also want to apologize for how disjointed this blog/rant may appear to be. I’m working off the top of my head between classes and I’m not worrying about organizing and cleaning this up. It is meant to be a stream of consciousness thought process of what’s going through my mind about September 11.
Last week in my Introduction to Mass Communications class we began to watch a powerful documentary titled 9/11. The piece was shot by Gédéon and Jules Naudet, two French brothers who had planned to shoot their documentary on a rookie in the New York Fire Department. In effect, they happened to be at the right (wrong) place at the right (wrong) time. Some of the footage is pretty incredible to watch and I don’t want you to associate a good or bad emotion with the word “incredible.” To see the NYFD command post inside the tower, the look of helplessness on the faces of everybody, yet the courage, bravery and perseverance of all involved to be willing to put their lives on the line to go back into the building and search for survivors. Hearing about and seeing the acts of heroism puts a completely different spin on them.
Anyway, the point of watching the documentary was to write a one page reaction page to the film. The main question asked was for us to decide whether or not it is ethical to continually show the images from 09/11. You could take this in many different directions and I don’t think there is a wrong answer. After all it is a completely subjective question, no two people are going to interpret and answer it in the exact same way. I decided to look at this from an historical point of view. From my viewpoint I believe that the images are a necessarily evil. Why? Because history in and of itself is raw, emotional and not always beautiful or seen in the light that we (Americans) would like it to be seen in.
Yes, it is very difficult to watch images of the two planes colliding with the World Trade Center. I think it will always be difficult to watch it. The majority of folks my age and younger can say without batting an eye that this is the most significant thing that’s happened to us in our lives. From the historical viewpoint that is exactly why it needs to be seen and told exactly how it happened. It is important, not only to me as someone who indulges in learning and knowledge, but to future students generations down the line. Everyone born in this country will deserve to know what happened on that day 11 years ago and what impact it has had on the United States and the world at large since it happened. The changes to the way flight and boarding an airplane is completely different. The world has undergone drastic change as the result of 9/11.
Show us the truth. I hated that even in my AP US History class in High School things like forcing Native Americans off of their land so that my ancestors could settle it were simply glossed over or painted in a more positive light. I know that my ancestors did terribly hateful, hurtful and disgusting things to gain the land they wanted. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to know the entire story from every angle, good or bad. Similar to how some history textbooks in the south are changing the name of the slave trade triangle to make it sound friendlier. That disgusts me. Do not deprive students of learning history correctly. If you do not translate, teach and inform of history properly, it is doomed to repeat itself.
I know it has been said multiple times and from multiple sources today and you’ll know doubt hear it from someone you’d rather read or hear from than me, but take a few minutes today to reflect on 9/11. We did in English Composition an hour ago, discussing where we were on that day when we heard the news. We talked about what we remember, how we reacted, how we’ve reflected upon it 11 years later. I’m sure as you’re reading this you can recall exactly where you were when you found out. I was sitting in Mr. Korobkin’s law class during first period in Thornton Academy’s math-science building. We were watching Mississippi Burning when the headmaster came over the intercom and informed us of something happening in New York. I remember the confusion most of us had. Something on a scale as enormous as what happened was simply impossible for me as a 17 year old to fathom.
With that being said, I want to wrap this up before I lose all semblance of structure and just continue ranting about the slant of history and how things need to be portrayed much more accurately and without bias. Of course, we can blame cable news and every media outlet ever for their bias and political leanings being behind everything, but that’s another post for another time.
Take a moment today to reflect. Remember those who were lost. Remember those who braved their lives to save others, even if they were not successful. Heroism should not always be granted based upon success. Many gave their lives trying to protect and save the lives of others. They were just as heroic as those who did survive. We survived the darkest, most tragic day in the history of country. We’ve seen the sweeping changes to every day life in the 11 years since, for better or for worse. We have all survived, some have thrived and some have faltered. One thing Americans can tend to forget however, is that we are all in this together and in times of crisis we band together better than any nation in the world. So take a brief moment to reflect upon everything that happened on 9/11 and never forget