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Has It Really Been A Year?

David Nunez
David Nunez
2 min read

I don't really feel all that inspired to write something about 9/11.

I mean, don't get me wrong; I certainly have feelings about it- I just don't think that it's fair for me to tribute when anything I write is going to seem cheap and gaudy in the face of some of the really inspired stuff out there.

Right now, everyone is remembering... everyone is forced to remember, actually, by the myriad of media specials, moments of silence, and t-shirts.

For the last year, it seems that references to 9/11 have been a weekly if not daily occurance. Some would even say our year of reflection has not been appropriate, that it's too much crying and not enough action.

Everyone compares 9/11 to Pearl Harbor... it's a valid comparison except that the world of technology today (with live television, internet news, and yes, blogs) allowed us each to experience the event more vividly than reading about it in the newspaper the next morning.

I experienced 9/11/01 alone, in my apartment. By some fluke, I had a meeting offsite at about 10:00 and decided I would sleep a little later and go straight to the meeting from home.

I never made that meeting.

I watched the events unfold live on television. The fires, the falling bodies and buildings, and the walking wounded are forever etched in my mind.

I didn't actually cry until I saw that helicopter shot of the Statue of Liberty with New York clouded in smoke in the background.

In a daze, after phone calls to family, I forced myself to go to work that afternoon, mostly to be with other people and also because the information and news was too fast, too wild, and too conflicting.

My friends and I also began emailing like mad to share and connect.

The same technology that galvanized the nation on that day also intensified the negative impacts: the confusion, the horror, and the grief. I remember reading story after story in a desperate attempt to make sense of it all; to educate myself about people and places like the Taliban and Pakistan and, now, Iraq.

The problems arose when I began to realize I couldn't trust what I was reading; in an almost vulgar game of oneupmanship, for a while the news outlets started reporting every little detail, unchecked, as if it was "breaking news." Many times, stories were retracted.

I plan on watching 60 Minutes to see George Bush's recount of the day, but otherwise I won't be watching the memorials and the news recaps.

Maybe this is callous, but I've simply had enough remembering for the past 365 days. Regardless of the memorials, I will always know 2001-2002 as an extrememly turbulant time for many reasons.

So sometime today, I'll go outside somewhere and sit for a little while alone to reflect and to relax.

Otherwise, I have meetings and work to attend to today. Life goes on. It has to.

David Nunez Twitter

Dir of Technology at the MIT Museum • Writing about emerging tech's impact on your life • Speculative insights on the intersection of humanity and technology 🤖