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Remembering Sep 11(8 posts)

Remembering Sep 11mr_spin
Sep 5, 2002 7:28 AM
Last year, on Sep 11, I was watching the Vuelta live on OLN when my sister called and told me to turn on the news.

The next day I was watching the Vuelta again when they showed something that I've never forgotten. Someone had raised an American flag on the side of the road on one of the climbs. The camera lingered on it for maybe five seconds. There were no people anywere in sight. Out in the middle of nowhere, in Spain, someone had planted a flag and left it to flutter in the breeze.

We had a big explosion of patriotism after Sep 11, a lot of which seemed false and self-indulgent to me. All the faded and torn flags I ride by now just confirm for me that it was just a passing fad for many people. Where's the next band wagon to jump on?

What was so memorable about that American flag in Spain is that it was pure. There was no one around saying look at me, I'm a patriot, I planted this flag. There were no signs saying "Kill Osama" and "United We Stand." There were no bad country songs. There were no raucous crowds chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" There was just a flag, blowing in the breeze. Who planted it? An American? A Spainard? Who knows.

Of all the images that surround Sep 11, that one sticks out the most. Not planes crashing into buildings. Not buildings imploding. Something about that solitary flag on the hillside trumped them all.
Not just an American thingEager Beagle
Sep 5, 2002 7:55 AM
You should have seen the state of 1/2 the UK when Princess Di was killed in the car-slam (not comparible in horror I appreciate, but similar in precipitating a public reaction it seems). "A massive outpouring of grief" ensued, 1/2 of it from people saying extraordinary things like "I felt she was a sister".

This was then followd by lots of "good must come of this" type sentiment.

Needless to say, not one iota of change had been seen.
I'm not looking forward to it.Sintesi
Sep 5, 2002 8:09 AM
I'm so tired of the phoney gushing, chest beating and alligator teared TV specials. It's robbing the legitmscy of a profound experience for everyone involved. I just wish the anniversary could be a solemn quiet affair (and most of all move on)but now I understand there's going to be tributes and shows up the yin yang. The winner of that insipid American Idol TV show gets to sing the national anthem for the victims in WDC. What depth, what a wonderful culture. We should have a tailgate party and barbeque "honoring" the victims of 9/11. Puke.
Bad country songs??PaulCL
Sep 5, 2002 9:20 AM
Jeez, I can only think of three. They are all over the top.

I generally agree that we, as a country, enjoy the spectacle of wallowing in our self pity. I am sure that the TV network execs and Hollywood types are just salivating over all of the specials they can put on the boob tube. We just love patting ourselves on the back for being so emotional.

I think a moment of silence is appropriate. A morning of silence, perhaps. I think that we have to have some sort of national observance - but in a reserved manner. Personally, I don't believe 9/11 should be declared a national holiday, as some have suggested. It shouldn't be a day off to go party. Just my cynical thoughts.

That morning, I was in my office watching CNBC on the tube. Like my parents and the day JFK was shot, I guess I'll remember where I was and what I was doing at the very moment the planes hit.

As for the patriotism - temporary or permanent, real or fake - it was nice to be proud of my country (I still am and always have been). It was nice to feel bonded to everyone in my country. We were all hurt, all attacked. Some good did come out of the horror. Its amazing how differences dissappear and similiarities arise in a time of strife.
re: Remembering Sep 11Me Dot Org
Sep 5, 2002 9:43 AM
To remember 9/11, I think you should remember what you remember. What I mean is don't get caught up in media hoopla. The media isn't your self.

Curiously, that morning I got up and logged on the internet. Excite.com is my homepage, and I remember briefly glancing at the headlines. I still remember that the one piece of information that stuck was that Elizabeth Dole had decided not to run for Jesse Helm's old seat.

Then I logged into the general discusssion group at roadbikereview.com. The first message was from a Canadian cyclist, and I'm paraphrasing: "Our thoughts and prayers are with our American friends this morning."

Huh?

I went back to Excite's home page and saw the headline I somehow ignored, or didn't digest:

World Trade Center Blown Up

I turned on the news. Those first few hours were filled with such uncertainty. How many more planes were out there? I called my father. I called my sister. I called my best friends. I called my old office (I had recently been layed off).

My best friend had to pick up her kids from school. (San Francisco schools were closed that day as a precaution.) So the day was spent with my best friend and her kids: a wierd combination trading off watching the news and watching The Little Mermaid with some 7 year olds that we wanted to protect from our own fear about what was going on.

The other thing I remember was the heartfelt patriotism that spontaneously sprang up afterwards. Yes, there has subsequently has been the institutionalization of patriotism in our culture, but the first few weeks after 9/11 were full of heartfelt reminders.

That weekend I took a bike ride. I had to be ferried across the Golden Gate Bridge in a van, because it was closed to sidewalk traffic. In San Anselmo I stopped at a lemonade stand and bought lemonade and a cookie from a little girl and her mother, who were donating the profits to the Red Cross. She gave me an American Flag sticker.

And I (who marched against the War in Vietnam, who has always been leary of jingoism) put it on my helmet.

I have and will be critical of American and her domestic and foreign policies. But I learned something about myself after 9/11. I learned how much I really do love this country, warts and all. And seeing all of the commercialization of patriotism that has happened since 9/11 shouldn't blind us to the genuine outpouring of grief and partriotism that followed immediately in its wake.
Nice post, thanksKristin
Sep 6, 2002 7:19 AM
I do believe that this current generation will pass by soon. I don't think that the historic players from 1980-2000 will be remembered fonding. However, I do believe that a strong generation of thinkers, intellects and philosophers are rising. I hope I'm around to experience at least some of that. I hope I can contribute to the foundations of it.
Oops. A bit of a fruedian...I meant "fondly" ...but "fondling" could apply as well.Kristin
Sep 6, 2002 7:21 AM
I hope you do not ride by flags on the ground...jose_Tex_mex
Sep 5, 2002 12:07 PM
... no matter how much it kills me to have to stop and loose my speed I nearly always pick up every flag I come across. I clean and keep nearly all of them. There have been a few that were really destroyed - turn them over to the local VFW.

If for no other reason than a bunch of old guys died with the image of our flag standing tall, let's all make the effort.

But you're right about the bandwagon. I cycle by more houses trying to be pseudo patriotic flying dirty flags that are literally touching the ground. I have on many occasions uprighted flags and have considered just taking the ones that really piss me off.