Monday, September 12, 2011
Yesterday the 9/11 ceremonies were a study in communications and symbols -- bagpipes and drummers, reading of the names, ringing of the bell, the memorial itself with its falling waters into a void. It was deeply affecting. Even though I was in Midtown Manhattan on the day of the attacks and experienced none of the terror that thousands downtown suffered, I was dabbing away tears while watching the ceremonies on TV. Others might not feel the same way, and probably don't. They can't forget their own terrors, which in many cases were greater than ours -- the Dresden firebombing, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Stalingrad, the London Blitz, village torching during Vietnam, civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, yesterday's ceremonies were a reminder that individuals die and not masses of unnamed bodies. The symbolism of the services served to drive home that the innocent who lost their lives were precious as all people are. That in itself is a reminder that is needed constantly, a communication that shouldn't be forgotten.