Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Septemeber 11 Anniversary

Disclaimer: I know that I am a bit cranky and overly sensitive due to a week of little sleep whilst on deadlines. Due to this over-tired over-emotionalism, I have avoided commuting via the World Trade Center PATH station, instead taking the ferry from Hoboken (which was always my preferred ride when I actually worked at WTC) and walking around the crowds of tourists on Vesey, Greenwich and Church streets.

I work in New York city - downtown to be exact, about a block away from the place most of you know as "Ground Zero". About a week ago, I noticed a new sign on a Vesey Street building I pass en route to my office. It said "Coming soon, 9/11 Memorial Preview Site". So I sighed, rolled my eyes and walked on by.

A few hours ago, upon leaving my office, I decided "what the heck" and walked down Vesey for the PATH for the first time in a week. I was surprised to come across a small mob of tourists midway down the block. They were all gaping and pointing at the new 9/11 "shop", as some were calling it. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.

Is this storefront "Preview Site" this really necessary? Is this city so bereft of reason that someone must scurry to open up what surely seems to be a top-class tourist site right now, a few short weeks before September? I guess they want to have it ready for the anniversary rush?

For the past several years, I have read angry and obnoxious comments from "New Yorkers" in teh NY Times City Room blog. New Yorkers who say they are sick and tired of 9/11 family members making such a big deal of the anniversary. I wish I could tell each and every one of them how I truly wish that my family and I could quietly and privately visit the place my brother died, especially upon the anniversary of his death. But that is not possible, because thousands of other people's brothers also died in the same place that same day.

And so we bow to the inevitable and mourn as a larger family.

I think I speak for most family members when I say that we do not ask for every New Yorker to stop in their tracks and mourn with us. But we do need people but respect that each of us grieves in our own way. God willing, these snarky people will never have to watch their loved ones slowly die on television.