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Retrospective on a retrospective

I wrote this post 7 years ago in a facebook feature so old that its now deprecated.

I'm posting here for two reasons: it's still relevant and I don't want to lose it.

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We've been summoning up the imagery from 9/11/2001 so often over the past seven years, that the events of that day become a sort of abstract reference to itself. Speeches honoring the victims and heroes each year draw us ever further from the visceral experience of that day. 

Of course we've been hearing all about it today, and mostly it just sort of hung around in the back of my head all day, without much impact on me, and certainly no more than any of the previous 5 anniversaries of that day.

I was in class late tonight, so I haven't been around the house much. I walked outside to let the dog back in, and an airplane passed overhead. Then the real memories of September 11th flooded back to me.

I remember around this time of night seven years ago, after a day of silent skies, the first aircraft I had heard in the sky all night were fighter jets flying over my house. I remember first how odd the silence had been all evening (I live under a pretty crowded flight corridor into Metro). Next I remember how the sound startled me, and the image of a flight of fighters overhead, protecting me from who-knows-what, stunned me. 

I remember spending the day worrying about friends in New York and Washington. I remember my relief as their phone calls and e-mails came through to me to tell me they were alright. 

I remember how badly my yearning that day was to simply *not be alone*.

But most of all, I remember how uncertain I felt at that moment about our future, as a nation, as a people, and as a specie. 

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