Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember Me - 9/11

Just a warning: Some of my opinions listed here may be offensive to some readers. Read with caution. And don't say I didn't warn you.

I was in 8th grade when 9/11 happened, just barely two weeks in or so. I like on the West Coast, so it was early in the morning, I had gotten up for school, dressed, and come downstairs. Rounding the bottom of the stairs, I could see the TV. Now, I was used to my mom watching the news in the morning before school, but as I see this footage on the TV of planes crashing into a building, I can't help but wonder why my mom's watching a movie before school. I asked, "What movie are you watching?"

She says, without looking away from the TV, "It's not a movie, it's the news."

I remember thinking "Holy shit."

We watched the news until we had to leave, then in class, during the morning announcements, the principle comes on and we had a moment of silence then she told us that school was the safest place we could be at that time, even if some parents didn't think so. Then we watched the news in our class room.

I remember going home later and emailing my friend who lived in New York at the time, asking if her and her family were okay. She kind of laughed at me and said everyone was fine.

That's about all I remember from that day.

After that, I stopped really giving a shit. It was a bad thing to have happened, horrible really. I knew it was horrible, but I  never claimed to be the nicest person out there. I thought -and still think to an extent- that it was something we should never forget but move on from. We can't let something heal if we keep picking at it. And it seemed, as the years went by, that everyone else forgot about it too. The extent of remembrance went towards a moment of silence, some talk about, rewatch the footage on the anniversary, and that was it. Still is, basically.

Here's another warning: SPOILERS if you haven't seen Remember Me (and it's such a good movie, that if you haven't you need to now!)

My feelings changed some when I saw the movie, Remember Me with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin. It's an adorable love movie that ends with Robert Pattinson's life coming back together and then... He dies in the World Trade Centers.
When the movie ended after the first time I saw it, I thought it was the shittiest ending ever. It felt like a cop out, not to mention, they killed him when his life was just getting back to being good! His dad was paying more attention to his sister, he was getting back together with the girl he loved, everything was just pulling back together so perfectly...

And then he dies. WTF movie people, wtf? And then, to top it off, they used Sept. 11 as the way he died. They showed him all happy in his dad's office, looking out the window, and then the camera moves back and shows he's at the top of one of the towers. Now, throughout the movie, it never really hints as to the date the whole move takes place, where the dad's office is. All you know is it's in New York.

To say the least, I felt slighted.

But then I started to think about it. The movie brings you back to how you felt the day 9/11 happened. And not only that, but it made you feel so deeply for someone, then felt the pain of losing them in the tragedy that marks this day.

Before seeing this movie, I was just a west coast girl who knew no one lost in the attack. Oh, I knew from pictures and video footage, and hearing second hand about all of the pain it caused, but it didn't affect me in that kind of way.

After seeing the movie, I have a new... appreciation? acceptance?... some kind of feeling I can't think the name of. But I feel differently about 9/11 now. It wasn't just a some buildings, but people's loved ones. Their friends, their families. People who may have just started getting their lives back on track, people who were going through a hard time, people who woke up and said to themselves "Today is going to be a good day."

I think that's part of the problem. We see it as "The World Trade Center" and always so pictures of the buildings, or the lights shooting into the sky to mimic the towers. But what about all those people? We should have slide shows talking about the people. Buildings can be rebuilt, but those people are gone forever.

All right, I'm done. I'm sorry to anyone who I offended in this post, but I'm not a saint, never claimed to be. I have bad thoughts just like anyone else, but I own up to them.

And now, a moment of silence in memory of the people who died in the attack on the World Trade Center.



  1. Actually, I think you have an excellent point: that we need to remember the PEOPLE lost, not the buildings.

    But, you also have to remember that the WTC represented something: our nation's financial center. Not to mention the achievment of building something like the Twin Towers. They went up back in the 60s, if I remember right, and they were some of the tallest buildings in the world for a long time.

    Having said that, though, when I see those burning buildings, or footage of the planes hitting them, it's the people I think of. What must it have been like to be trapped there? I think that's this single biggest question on my mine. They jumped to avoid burning to death, an option passengers on the planes didn't have. Both groups of people were trapped by—well, I won't even call them people, no matter WHO was responsible—that want to kill us because we don't subscribe to their beliefs.

    No, we don't want to keep picking at the wound. But we can commemorate and still heal. Witness our relations with Japan, the only other country to attack us on such a large scale. Of course, the Japanese are reasonable people, while those who carried out 9/11 aren't.

    We can move on, let ourselves heal. But that doesn't mean there won't be a scar. And we'll remember who gave us that scar every time we look at it. And feel the pain all over again.

  2. I know I'm probably a couple years late with my comment, but here it goes.
    I thought it was well-written, had a lot of great points. I live in Pennsylvania and still kinda remember 9th grade when it happened, not really sure what was going on. The thing that got me was my annoyance how all the channels were covering it when I wanted to watch my shows when I got home from school. Yeah, it's pretty selfish and I feel bad about that. At the same time, with anything, it's hard for me to see non-stop news coverage on something after the first hour or so.

    Then when I saw "Remember Me," that least for that first year. Of course I watched it for Robert Pattinson, being a Twi-hard and all. I thought it was a great movie with some great writing and supporting characters. When they had the big reveal in the end, I can still remember my shock. Them panning over to the date on the chalkboard, then seeing him in the building, panning out. I gasped "Oh no!" and before I knew it, it was all over. My only other thought was how I wished to see what became of the other characters. To me, it didn't feel like a cop-out at all, though that is a valid point.
    Why the cable providers don't air the movie on 9/11 is beyond me... it certainly gave me something to identify with for that day.


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