Tweets and FB posts abound today, and people are looking at the anniversary of 9/11 through a variety of lenses.
Alibi writers answered the call to add their perspective. Memorializing an event is about cementing collective memory, hardening the story. Sometimes, in the process, certain facts are left out and narratives discarded for simplicity's sake.
So on this day, let's keep the conversation flowing.
In this week's news section, I write that 9/11 brought news media—and the wide world—into my line of sight.
Elizabeth Hughes, our travel writer, was living in Manhattan when the planes struck the towers. She recalls details from that day.
Advice columnist Kat Cox was just a few miles from the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. She remembers the communication blackout and how social media changed how we deal with emergencies.
Sports writer Toby Smith was in South Korea when Geraldo Rivera broke the news to him via TV.
U.S. fighter jets have taken off. ... Where’s Bush? Cheney’s in a bunker. ... The White House has been hit. No, the Pentagon has been hit ... box cutters ... terrorists on a train . ... Saddam did this. No, the Saudis did it ... 10,000 dead. No, 4,000. ... Let’s roll.
Anniversaries like this ought to be as much about mapping the future as rehashing the past. If examining what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, doesn’t help us plot a wiser course, we haven’t gained anything at all from it.
There are so many others who were affected deeply, who suffered unknowable personal losses on Sept. 11, 2001. But as a country, the greatest loss we suffered was our sense of safety. Still we survive, and a new tower is being constructed in New York. shrouded in strings of lights and topped by a crane, it looks especially surreal. But there it sits, a palpable mark of progress, and the city continues to churn around it.