NFL Football returns today! AWESOME!
Hope you don't mind, but I woke up a little late today after taking most of yesterday off. Didn't do any writing. Just a few radio appearances (special thanks to Alvin Reid at 1050 ESPN in St. Louis).
I wanted a day to rest and recharge because I knew today would be a little taxing not just because of all the wonderful football coverage we have planned here and at SB Nation Indiana, but because of... well, you know.
I mean, good god, it's plastered all over every website, billboard, and TV station today, and has been so for the last few days. For many of us in NYC, the inside joke (and, to provide context, jokes and humor are essential when dealing with trauma) is that we chuckle when folks say 'never forget' when it comes to the September 11th, 2011 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Today being the 10th anniversary means that everyone REALLY should 'never forget,' I guess.
Anyway, the inside joke for many of us who live in New York, and who lived through the attacks, is that when people tell us to 'never forget,' it's like having a 2x4 smashed over your head, and then on the yearly anniversary, someone smacks you across the head with another 2x4 and then screams, 'Remember when you got smacked in the head with that board? Never forget!'
But, like it or not, the ten-year remembrance of 9-11 has significance for many. Like many NYers, I've greeted it with reluctance because life in the Big Apple is a daily reminder of the attacks. Since then, two prominent buildings are gone from the skyline. I see more cameras everywhere. More helicopters. More policemen and women armed with machine guns.
I'm not dismissing the need for these additional security measures, or making light of them. I'm simply saying I see the change everyday. I see the fear. So, when someone tells me 'never forget,' I can of laugh not because I think their sentiment is silly (I understand the need to make people remember), but because it is so damn hard to forget.
I couldn't, even if I tried. And believe me, I have.
If you ever care to hear my 9-11 story, I did a guest appearance on Tom Marquis' 'The Balance' yesterday. 'The Balance' is a local Indianapolis podcast, and Tom invites sports guests on to talk about the Colts, Pacers, college, etc. Yesterday, Phil Wilson of the Indianapolis Star was the first guest, and I followed him towards the end of the (I believe) three hour podcast. Tom's son was a guest on the show as well, and he's a soldier who has fought in Afghanistan. Because he was on the line, and because much of the episode was dedicated to 9-11, I spoke about what I personally experienced ten years ago. The experience is not anything special when compared to the millions of other New Yorkers and folks in DC. But, it gives you an idea of what one person saw, experienced, and continues to live with.
Special thanks to Tom and his son for having me on.
I've done 9-11 remembrance articles before, and each time I try and focus on one very specific element. For me, 9-11 is not about forgetting or remembering. You don't need to re-live the tragedy to understand the meaning behind it. The No. 1 goal of 9-11 was to make you and me fearful, and in many ways it succeeded. Thus, for all of us, I believe the goal we should strive for is not to recall how awful, terrible, tragic, and shocking the destruction was. In the face of death and devastation, the best way to honor those who died, and those who have suffered since, is not to simply 'remember.'
The goal is to not be afraid, not to let fear dominant your life. Do that, and you will have faithfully and honorably 'remembered' 9-11.
Thanks for reading. Oh, and today football is back. Go Colts.