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September 11th, 2009

By Eric Renderking Fisk  Bookmark and Share

When I first started writing rants on The Indy Experience, I made a promise to myself and Aaron Gantt that I would never miss taking time out to write something about September 11th each year. I would never let the date creep up on me, catching me without having something ready to be published. I never want to forget this promises or let it slide one year because I'm "too busy."

I wanted that same promise to carry to The Fedora Chronicles and to bring up to another level; to reach out to the same audience that we built on The Indy Experience and accommodate even more folks here. The only change I want is more. More content, more updates and broader topics.

But here it is, eight years after that terrifying event, when the world literally stood still  watching in horror. This year I've been preoccupied with a visit from my in-laws, finishing the roof on the shed, sending both boys off to school and all the while coming to terms with other life changes.


I'm thinking about how the years have passed and the prediction I made back in 2002... that the 10th Anniversary of September 11th 2001 will be almost forgotten and that it won't have the same impact on our lives. Each year the meaning of September 11th will diminish. The pain and anguish on our collective conscience will ebb, we won't feel guilty to smile or laugh on this date and the ceremonies will become shorter and less frequent. Then there will come a time when we only stop to remember in five to ten year increments.

What's also on my mind is the sense of comradery and communal pride we had after the attacks. We were all going through this together, regardless of the depth of loss. We all seemed to have watched this incident together, minute by minute, as it happened. It was a collective event that we all experienced and our differences all evaporated, allowing us to focus on what we had in common.

For weeks this is what we had most in common. Not only that we watched it happen, but we feared together on the way to work or school that it could happen again.  In the North East, everyone knew someone that had either died or knew someone that was directly effected. Anyone who flew in a plane that took off from Logan Airport in Boston and flew across country had thoughts about their jet was hijacked.

If you had ever visited The World Trade Center or The Pentagon before that day, you were there again in spirit while watching what happened that day on television.

And everyone was angry. That's something else we all had in common. We were all angry and scared.

But today, what's on my mind the most is the quietness. Today I downloaded an MP3 of "Amazing Grace" and played it as I drank my first cup of coffee. Then when I gave my wife her cup, we listened to it from the top of the stairs. Just the two of us stood there together and cried. And since then... I haven't been able to enjoy any music at all today.

Today is the mirror opposite of September 11th, 2001. This day it's not unseasonably warm with clear skies and a bright sun. Today it's hardly above 55 degrees, overcast and crisp. It's trying to rain, and the mist in the air is like a thousand cold needles in the face.

And for reasons I can never explain or would even want to, I think about all the friends I met online since September 11th, 2001. I think about what they've meant to me and how they've enriched my life. How I couldn't bare to be parted from them.

But then, I think about the people who died on September 11th, or as a result of injuries they sustained. I think about those who share our common interests - those who love vintage style and classic movies just as much as we do. Who might have worn a fedora or thought about getting one. Or who had a collection of jazz classics at home, who lived part of their lives the retrocentric way. And never had the chance to join this site, or others like it. Who never had the chance to become a part of our lives.

And I begin to cry. All over again. I miss our friends, the ones we never knew. Bookmark and Share