Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11: The Obligatory Post

Another 9/11. Another year when I can't look at September 11 on the calendar without transportation to a different type. Another year where I see the numbers 9 and 11 completely independent of one another and yet still pair them together to the day I sat in Citizenship Issues and then math class and then the rest of school, clutching the hands of friends and my then-boyfriend, as the entire school shut down to watch burning buildings.

In every generation there is some moment that becomes the catalog point. Where were you when ...? And then a year later, the year after that, the first time you're near the location where it happened. We catalog our lives based on trauma.

Why is that?

I took this photo while on my first-ever trip to a big city, to New York City. It was frigid and we were on the ferry to Ellis Island. It was March 31, 2001. Less than six months later the skyline was changed. And the moment it happened, I went back to this picture and thought, "But we were just there." Every year on 9/11 I look at this picture, photoshopping little planes in my mind, adding audio of screams.

It's surreal. But this is one moment by which I catalog my life.

If you're looking for more, check out Jewish Responses to 9/11 over at Hirhurim, or maybe Un'Taneh Tokef Prayer and 9/11. But whatever you do, be wary when you Google "Judaism" and "9/11." Primarily, the results are riddled with tales of the Jewish conspiracy and how no Jews died on 9/11. This, folks, is false.