Don’t Talk To Me About 9/11

Yes, the title of this post is provocative. Blog titles are supposed to be. But let me say immediately that I’m not trying to be disrespectful to the victims of the September 11th attacks or their families. Not at all! But, on this 14th anniversary of the attacks, please don’t say a word about it to me.

This morning I was driving on I-290 listening to a friend’s radio show on Moody Radio Cleveland on my iPhone. As they talked about the anniversary and started recalling some of the details of the heroism and loss, I started to cry. I mean really cry. There I am riding along on the Ike with tears streaming down my face. My heart was hurting. Why?

I think I’m starting to understand how the Greatest Generation feels about Pearl Harbor. For decades they’ve talked about it with tears in their eyes, usually to a generation that really doesn’t want to hear about it. Their emotion still seems fresh. You can see the pain in their eyes. One day in a place that seemed far away, our entire nation was shattered. Not only were many lives lost, but our country’s feeling of invincibility was crushed. Dead people and a rocked worldview have a way of impacting you even decades later. On the 14th anniversary of the attacks, we now have 2 generations of Americans who are removed from that day. I wonder if they are impacted by the story in the same way as people are when a senior talks about the war.

I covered 9/11 as a news reporter in the midst of thousands of people who were trying to get home via trains at Union Station in Chicago. I wasn’t in New York, Pennsylvania, or Washington. No one I know personally died that day. And yet, it hurt and still does.

Please continue to talk about the attacks so those who lost their lives (in the crashes and trying to save people) are never forgotten. They are true heroes. Relay the story so a non-Christian world will know there is such a thing as evil (and offer God as the good alternative). But please don’t talk to me about it. It just hurts too much. I can’t handle it yet. And maybe I’ll never be able to.

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