Five years and counting

Like most everyone else, I expected a racheting-up of official national somberness for the first multiple-of-five anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Pentamerous anniversaries are always more meaningful than others. Additionally, the current state of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq required a renewed public call to something or other by the people who run those wars, and September 11 is a natural platform. Factor in also the upcoming Congressional elections and the deep political need to exploit that angst. And finally the hours and hours of media coverage of the actual tragedy begging to be replayed for the benefit of people who have forgotten how they felt five years ago, and it all becomes quite inevitable. Perhaps even necessary.

After all, 9/11 marked the last time we all felt the same thing.

And now it's done, except for the odd tremulous echo, and the occasional plaintive reflection on how briefly and beautifully united we all once were, back when we were angry and sad and scared, and holding hands in the light of terrible flames seemed the bravest thing that we could do.

See you again in 2011.


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