Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reflections of a Day

It is the twelfth anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies on American soil.  It is September 11th.  All the local stations take over programming every year and have moments of silence and victims family members read off the nearly 3000 names.  On the first anniversary it was important, powerful, and meaningful.  Each and every year since, it has lost its impact.  Clearly, not to the families and friends, but it doesn't need to be televised.  I am sure that the local television stations are too afraid to switch the programming or not air the remembrance in its entirety.  

So today, I wasn't ready to really begin my day.  I didn't want to watch the reading of the names again.  I noticed that MSNBC was airing the real time, as it happened, unedited day of 9/11/01 NBC account.  I thought that could be interesting and a better way to remember for me.  It began with the first plane hitting the first tower.  The on-air newscasters were Katie Couric and Matt Lauer because it happened during the Today Show.  They were thoughtful, careful, and shocked.  When the second tower was hit, it was clear that the United States of America was under attack though the circumstances were still unclear.  Was it a small plane into the first tower?  Was it commercial?  They captured the second plane live on air hitting the second tower.  It was extraordinary.  The live broadcast trying to piece meal the information was incredible.  They were able to reach eyewitnesses immediately. They were civilian witnesses, but as the morning went on there were trained newscasters watching what was going on.  

I was really seeing all of this in its entirety for the first time.  It was Primary day here. It was a work day. My kids were in nursery school and hadn't left for school yet.  I was so worried about their not seeing the horror, I missed so much.  I took them to visit a friend and I went to work.  Walking as I kept hearing the increasing tragedy and death toll.  It was unimaginable.  I was dancing as fast as I could.  Running on automatic, I didn't see the live footage.  We were all just trying to keep it together here and be as "normal" as we could be.  I know that I went into denial mode and didn't want to watch the news at all.  Started watching Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends instead of the news.  We wanted relief.  We didn't really want to dwell or focus on the horror.  

So, I really think today was the first time.  I watched as the top of the second tower toppled on live television, and then the entire building.  NBC showed the view from below Manhattan in the air or maybe it was from Jersey.  The black and grey clouds and smoke was so thick. Then the first tower when down.  In the middle of all this, the Pentagon was attacked by another plane.  The network did whatever they could to get information as fast as they could.  Careful not to give unconfirmed information.  Andrea Mitchell was the first to mention that Osama Bin Laden was a likely suspect because he had the ways and means.  I watched over three hours of the re-broadcast. I had just been bemoaning how I don't look forward to this day because I don't feel connected, but being able to re-live and watch that morning's 9/11 broadcast was well worth my time.  I did feel connected. Maybe the local stations should do the same thing.  The families can keep reading the names but the TV stations don't have to air it.  Let them show their real time re-broadcast of that day.  I think there is far more value in that for the rest of us.

No Sidebars today.

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