I find often that I am in a unique position when it comes to experience with September 11th; while a number of us were in close proximity when it happened, I have generally been one of an extremely small number who actually witnessed the events firsthand as they happened. As such, I’ve often been found to have a unique perspective I’m not all too proud of having: It made me unique in a way I felt no fifteen-year-old deserved.

This past week, Emily Paret wrote an editorial regarding her feelings about “The Flight that Fought Back” and noted that most people don’t feel the effects of tragedy for years after, and further documented her change in perspective and ability to find personal relation with those depicted in the film. I find this commendable and warm-hearted but at this point, trite, and even pyrrhic.

Perhaps I am jaded by my self-proclaimed unique perspective. However, September 11th, 2001, happened in 2001. We are now very strongly situated in 2005, and the recent passing of this date marks the four-year anniversary of the attacks. Nobody remembers the date of the Oklahoma City bombing offhand; they don’t remember the first time the World Trade Center was bombed; nor will they, I expect, remember the first anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunamis, an event far more catastrophic (especially in terms of loss of human life) than the 9/11/01 attacks. There are reasons we don’t think of these things every time they come to pass, and honestly, if we did, we’d be paralyzed with fear and sadness. Remembering is important, but things are getting ridiculous.

I reiterate, I am not trying to say that we should forget. I still get the post-traumatic stress shakes every time I get seriously into this (I have them now as I type), and I will for the rest of my life. But I have also learned the importance of letting a subject die. Keep the memories in your hearts, but don’t make them more than they are. It is past: It is over.

Jay Miller585-274-3103Class of 2008



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