Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Day 3548 - 9/11

I'm still living in the same house, sitting at the same kitchen table, watching the same TV at breakfast as I was on this day eighteen years ago. I haven't forgotten. Memories fade though. With each passing year, more and more people will never remember this day as I do. They weren't here. There are young men and women serving in the military right now who weren't even born when the twin towers fell. I don't think these people and those who come after them will ever realize how much has changed.

When we were visiting The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg recently, I remember thinking how little I really knew about World War II. This is understandable because I wasn't born until three years after the war ended. I never learned about all the sacrifices my Mom and Dad made. They didn't talk about those days much and high school history classes gloss over a lot of things. My Dad would have experienced this museum much differently. He was a Navy man and served in the Pacific during World War II.

I only have one picture of the World Trade Center. It was taken out of my hotel window at the UN Plaza. I used to stay at this hotel when I worked in New York. Although I have never lived in Manhattan, the city was frequently a destination during my ad agency days. I've walked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I've taken the express elevator to the top of the South Tower and looked out over the city from the rooftop observation deck. When I watched the towers fall while eating breakfast at our kitchen table I felt like the world I was familiar with was ending. In retrospect, this feeling was surprisingly accurate. The world hasn't been the same since.

I'd like to see a day when the country is unified again the way we were the day after September 11. We're a long way away from that now. When you look at the divided country we've become, it almost seems like the terrorists won. Hopefully, we will find our way again and discover a way to come together. Tribalism and petty bickering is slowly destroying us.

I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the state of the world. Day to day life is challenging enough for me. Today, Janet and I started to clean out the greenhouse so repairs can begin. What a lot of broken stuff I've managed to accumulate. Instead of fixing old lawn mowers, it was easier to just buy new ones. I kept the old mowers though, thinking that some day I might get the urge to fix them. This same perverse logic is why my storage warehouse is still full of old, obsolete computers. If I lived in the country and had a lot of acreage, there's a good chance that every old car I ever owned would be covered in rust out in the front yard.

The long awaited successor to the Land Rover Defender has finally arrived. What were they thinking? After Toyota completely botched the reintroduction of the iconic FJ40, its almost like Land Rover couldn't wait to say "hold my beer." I loved my old Defender. Not so sure about this complex, high-tech replacement.

I doubt that it matters. After we finish fixing up the house and yard, I won't be able to afford a new car anyway. At any rate, life goes on. I did my five mile walk this morning. I drank my fruit smoothie while watching TV pundits talk about 9/11 and then wrote a letter to my sister. Next year I'll probably do exactly the same thing.

Shadow is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day