Friday, September 10, 2021

With COVID-19, a new 9/11 every day


     A decade ago, I looked back at Sept. 11, 2001 on its 10th anniversary, recalled its “crashing planes, burning buildings, tumbling bodies” and noted, “it hardly needs to be recounted now.”
     Of course not. Because the wounds of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the hijacked flight that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, were too fresh to require much description, but too raw to overlook.
     Remembering was a duty. The lives lost that day — almost 3,000 — demanded attention. Demanded to be put into context, to understand how enormous a loss it really was.
     “More Americans died on 9/11 than in the War of 1812,” I wrote. “It was the bloodiest morning on American soil since the Civil War.”
     Things have changed. In 2021, we don’t need to reach into the 19th century in search of perspective. We can look back to a week ago Thursday — 9/2 — a date which will live in obscurity, when 2,937 Americans were killed by the current foe attacking our country, COVID-19.
     Or Feb. 10, when 3,254 died. Or Jan. 21: 4,135. Or hundreds of other days. About 650,000 Americans slain, out of sight, the nation hardly noticing, never mind honoring its loss. Yet killed all the same by a far more lethal foreign assailant.

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  1. I wish there would be some introspection on WHY someone wanted to do that deed.
    And on whether or not, the attackers goal was achieved.
    There will not be....

  2. In my lifetime our nation was never more united than on 9/12.
    It didn’t take long, with the likes of Rumsfeld and Cheney, to divide us so much that we have become dysfunctional.
    So much so that a good portion of us have don’t care that their inactions are causing so much harm to fellow Americans.

  3. "Remembering was a duty." An interesting comparison, but the COVED 19 deaths happen out or sight. The others are more vivid if you have been there. I recall the first time walking down 42nd street and seeing only a void where the twin towers loomed in intervals between nearby buildings. I once enjoyed a great view and overpriced meal at Windows on the World, the restaurant on a top floor of the north tower. Even more memorably, when I worked for the Army I sometimes attended meetings in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, on the outer ring of the Pentagon. We sat at a small conference table next to the General's desk with a good view of the lawn running down to the Potomac. Had I been there on that day it would have been my last view of anything. Even more vivid, because I knew some who had lost their lives, is my earlier memory of a visit to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building Office Building in Oklahoma City, where we had an office on the fourth floor.


    1. Funny. If a bit cruel. I can't complain as it was my choice to share my memories and feelings.


    2. When I read Les' reply, I assumed it was either a typo or some acronym or abbreviation I wasn't getting.

      I was very surprised to google it and have it be right there, as written, with plenty of links to the Li'l Abner character.

      I don't take it as having been cruel, just friendly ribbing, and a pretty good reference. Perhaps a little cheeky for such a serious topic.

  4. 650,000. Unreal. I am losing patience with a good friend who's only serious flaw is that she is an anti-vaxxer. A friend of a friend of hers died of a blood clot at a young age after a vaccination, and my friend cannot see that the risks still far outweigh the benefits and respect for humanity of getting the vaccination.

  5. You can retire now, Neil. This is your best work at the perfect time. Too bad the foolish fringe isn't reading or listening to the simple truths. I'm imagining a Covid memorial copied from the Maya Lin's Vietnam version, necessarily Eleven times larger. Maybe that would move hardened hearts.


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