(My mother-in-law in NYC)
I lived in NYC ten years ago and so I know what New York was like on the day that two planes flew into the World Trade Center. And I know how New Yorkers responded in the hours and days that followed. Neighbors helped neighbors, colleagues checked up on each other, strangers offered each other taxi cabs that they flagged down, bus seats were given up willingly, people who I knew from the corner supermarket stopped to give me hugs — I stopped to check on the street vendor who sold hats outside of my office building.
My personal experience was that New Yorkers did not respond with hate and fear. They reached out to one another and tried to understand this terrible tragedy. Inter-faith services were quickly organized and leaders from all religious groups gathered to offer words of peace and wisdom and thousands of New Yorkers took up the call for tolerance.
That’s what I remember.
What I also know is that the United States lost its collective mind after 9/11 and we’ve been in endless wars based on lies ever since. We’ve spent billions on homeland security and have suddenly rationalized torturing people as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.
I’ve left the television off today because I can barely stand all the 9/11, 9/11, 9/11; terror, terror, terror; booga booga booga sensationalism that the media is trumpeting. At the moment there are war criminals being hailed as elder statesmen interviewed on the news!
Instead, I drove up to the Cotswolds to sort out lovely vintage things with my mother-in-law and on the way home I pumped up Bruce Springsteen and then accidentally drove right past my exit on the M4. And Bruce sang, “like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing, I took a wrong turn and I just kept going…”