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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The 9/11 Memorial

The PBS radio station from the campus of the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri, last night, Saturday night, as usual played some Jazz music. What was different was a tribute to New York City and a remembrance to all the victims of 9/11.
They found music about Coney Island, Avenue A and artists who have written and performed their feelings after the attacks. It was a walk through the streets of New York, transported to specific places, areas inhabited with working people, laughing and playing children. Summertime with open hydrants and short sleeve shirts, warm asphalt and a closeness of people spending time out of doors.
The radio station also reported the many trees planted at the memorial site, including one pear tree that had survived for the World Trade Center Site.
Then, the mood changes to personal. Canaries in their cages, voicing their emotions touching ours. Every pluck of the strings, every tap of the ivories hitting the chord, the place where we all have been.
With head resting on the pillow, eyes closed and ears perked with every stroke reawakening the trauma felt those ten years ago. It still hurt, the scenes replayed before closed eyes, the collective wave of sadness engulfing a nation, a planet, a people. Some tears on the bedlinen and then asleep.
Waking to the news, the memorial service is soon to begin, and again a tear touches the pillow.
Familiar Faces, the mayor, the president, the first lady, the former first lady, the fountain with its water shimmering down in waves, a velvet blanket swaying down into the pool that descends into nowhere, the pool that does not wash away the pain, the pool, a place to see and feel the pain, more tears.
The first couple of hours on television, with the cameras panning the dignitaries, the families and the guards behind the family members reading the names of the fallen, was a sombre gathering with the cameras recording and reporting all that is new at Ground Zero.
Then, all the stars left except for Mayor Bloomberg, the crowd thins and the scene changes, the tv anchors have to be seen and heard, they, in their abstraction removed us from participation, they change the focus of the watcher, they made it about them. And then the discontinued transmission of the memorial service, except for CSPAN. CSPAN did not leave the rest of the alphabet of names unheard, the channels continued to the end, standing by the sides of those who chose to honor and remember with all suffering, the lost. Thank you CSPAN for the kindness and respect you showed all today.

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