Tear of Grief

I leave one computer at work just to come home and sit in front of my own for hours on end.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this ritual as I see more than half the world wears glasses now.  I can tell when I check my email and it says I have 24 messages that it’s either been a busy day on Facebook or my friend is back online and forwarding me a ton of emails. Mostly they are jokes, political satire, occasionally dirty, religious chain letters or cute animals.

In that mess of emails, one caught my eye a few weeks ago.  It was called tear drop and inside was a link to a slide show called Russia_Honor_US911.  After watching it, I was completely dumbfounded, flabbergasted, taken aback.  I was completely clueless, in the dark.  In other words I had no idea that Russia had designed and given the United States a memorial for the September 11th terror attacks.  I actually was a little embarrassed that I could call myself a person who is current with Russian events and didn’t know, but no one talks about it.  I’m pretty sure I would have remembered it on the news, even five years ago.  Think about the gesture of the Russian Federation and then how a lot of the views of the relations between our countries are skewed by the media.  It’s kind of ironic that we criticize Russia’s version of democracy and control over the media, yet look what our news outlets did in failing to cover this story.  It’s not much different if you ask me.  It’s all selective news.  It’s only important if THEY want you to know about it.    I’d appreciate you taking just 14 minutes out of your life to watch the presentation below.


It also isn’t said very often that President Putin was the first person to call President Bush.  (This is a good informational link because it tells you what happened and then puts the source of the information after. http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?day_of_9/11=bush&timeline=complete_911_timeline )

While not related to the memorial video I want you to watch above, and I realize this is a late post for the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, it was one of my generation’s “where were you and what were you doing moment.”  Such as “Where were you when the space shuttle Challenger exploded?” Sick in bed, coloring and watching the news. or “Where were you when the first war with Sadaam Hussein started?” In a gun store with my dad.  So now, “Where were you on 9/11 (or as Alan Jackson’s put it…when the world stopped turning on that September day)?”

I was working on my first college degree as a paralegal in 2001.  For some reason that I vaguely remember as my instructor cancelling class due to a personal obligation relating to his own law practice, I had the day off.  I was catching up on some much needed rest until, in my twilight, I could hear my mom grab hold of the railing and came barreling up the stairs.  I remember rolling over, irritated- ready to tell her to leave me along and that I hadn’t overslept for school.

“New York is under attack!” she said.  Changing my perception of what she could possibly want from me so early in the morning, I mumbled that it was too early for a baseball game.  Clearly my priorities were shifted to baseball.

I didn’t see any of the planes hit either towers in real time.  I didn’t know what to make of it.  I didn’t cry, but I was scared. The tears came weeks later.  I remember seeing it that day, but hadn’t again on any other footage montage.  Mayor Rudy Gulianni was out in the streets with a large group of people behind him and gathering more as he went along and did his best to lead them to safety.  I myself, didn’t feel safe until later that night when I saw President Bush address the nation from the Oval Office.  It was reported that Bush 41 was actually stuck in Milwaukee when all the planes were grounded (as told to Larry King by Barbara Bush http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0310/25/lkl.00.html). Our family tried to be prepared for whatever might happen next.  We each went to the bank and withdrew a modest amount of money, purchased extra bottled water, as well as went to fill up our cars with gas.  That would prove smart as prices jumped over $6 later that day until stations were fined for doing so and had to re-standardize the prices.  Walmart remained open so I went to work, but all I did was stand in the electronics department watching the TV’s.  No one was really shopping.  Major League baseball shut down so I didn’t have to go to my job there.

This year the National Geographic cable channel had a show on called George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, a world premiere documentary that reveals exclusive, first-person insight into the former president’s experience following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.  I sat with my family to watch it.  I’m glad the living room lights were off because I couldn’t stop crying though most of the show.  I wasn’t sobbing, but I couldn’t hold back the tears from rolling down my cheeks.   Maybe it was because I had heard pieces of his story before, about being woken up in the middle of the night and rushing to safety in the White House with Barney in his arms, or thinking about the hundreds of photos of the President at ground zero with grief stricken family members, where he had to be strong while the rest of us cried.