Friday, September 9, 2011

The Tenth Eleventh

Strange, how I'll be doing the same thing the weekend of September 11 this year, ten years later, that I did the weekend after it happened.

That date has serves as such a marker, a common point for everyone who was alive that day. We all know where we were, what we were doing. For me, I was at home, despite the fact that I was a junior in high school--we had standardized tests that day and upperclassmen didn't have to take them, so could go in late. So I was home on a Tuesday morning. Sewing. Fixing a red wool shortgown for a reenactment the following weekend.

This week I've been sewing in the evenings, fixing a red silk gown for a reenactment this weekend.

Of course I didn't understand what was going on until the second plane hit, like everyone else, and then my friend picked me up for school and we were barraged by teachers when we walked in the building, beseeching us not to tell the students still taking tests (how were we to see them?) what had happened (we still didn't really understand) because it would distract them (I tended to think this was the least of our concerns).

So we were shuttled into class--I had Physics--and our teacher put on CNN and paced the back of the room. His nephew was working in the World Trade Center that day.

And then the question arose on whether we'd cancel our event that weekend, and we heartily answered no in what may have been one of the more rousing and less idiotic incantations of "if we do that, they win." Because we felt that in portraying the foundation of our country, we'd be asserting its strength for continuation. And, maybe, because we wanted to be together.

We did nothing different that weekend, save one thing: We usually begin and end the day with an 18th century muster and trooping of the colors. We did that. But we added raising--and lowering to half-staff--the American flag, and singing the national anthem. We've never done this before or since.

Ten years later, it seems everything has changed--for me personally and on the world stage--yet this weekend, I'll be doing nothing different than I was a few days after the attacks. Same people, same day begun cooking over a campfire, ended wrapped in wool blankets and music and the dim glow of fading campfire embers. Still wearing red, still madly sewing just before the event.

Apologies for the self-indulgent, reflective post.


Anachronist said...

I remember watching CNN in utter disbelief. I couldn't understand how crashing into two high buildings full of innocent people with two planes full of innocent people (not to mention other planes and other casualites, of course) might be somebody's idea of making all the Western world's wrongs right. Very very sad.

Philippa Norman said...

It's almost eery isn't - that nothing seems to have changed in our personal lives and yet everything has changed elsewhere.

I hope you had a good weekend -- and my thoughts go out to those who lost others on that day.