September 11th, 2009
By Eric Renderking Fisk
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
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 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
And I begin to cry. All over again. I miss our friends, the ones we