Remembrances

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, like others, has been thinking about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Unlike many others, he has nothing profound or meaningful to say today about the attacks.

On one hand, your Maximum Leader finds the languid memorials and rememberances at which our political leaders attend are self-indulgent fits of melancholia which do little to ease the suffering of those who lost loved ones and even less to exhalt the memory of the dead themselves. The public memorials do nothing for your Maximum Leader, and frankly he wishes they would go away.

On the other hand, your Maximum Leader finds personal tributes and statements very moving. Very emotional. They still evoke the rawness of emotion that the attacks did themselves. Your Maximum Leader remembers the day very well. He remembers seeing the first images of the Towers hit. He remembers being on the phone with a friend who was in Crystal City and saw the explosion at the Pentagon through his office window. He remembers standing in a little cafe with about 100 others (in a room that might fit 25) watching the TV. He remembers the flood of calls coming to his office and women hurrying to get their children from daycare. (He lived in Virginia Beach then. Many women in his office had Navy spouses and by 10am the word had gone out… The fleet was to sail immediately… No ship was to be left in port in Norfolk. Crews were to report immedately.) He remembers seeing the buildings fall. He remembers Peter Jennings commenting on live feed of Arabs celebrating throughout the middle east that he (Jennings) could understand the feelings that caused those people to dance in the streets. (That was, by the way, the last time your Maximum Leader ever watched Peter Jennings report on anything.)

He remembers all of that.

He recorded and watched some of the documentary aired on CBS last night. It was harrowing. The images of the firefighters in their command post in the lobby of the South Tower trying to figure out what to do… The look on Fire Department Chaplain Mychal “Mike” Judge’s face praying the lobby as you could hear the bodies of those who jumped crash in the plaza outside the lobby. The sound of the building collapsing. Eventually, your Maximum Leader had to turn off the recording. He doubts he will be able to watch the rest of it.

Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what to think of today. He feels that on the one hand we need to be a little more stoic and move on. On the other, it is good to remember that we saw the best of so many on a day so dramatically affected by evil. Perhaps it is best if we skip the public memorials and lamentations. Perhaps we should just each remember the day as we want, and offer our thoughts and prayers to those who need them - living and dead.

Carry on.

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