I was going to ignore that today was 9/11. But when I turned on the radio this morning, it was of course the main topic of discussion, as it should be. Then I went to a church service and it was the theme of the sermon, again, as it should be.
The incidents on 9/11 in the US were indeed horrible and we were all affected on that day. I was in Washington, DC at the time and lived just 8 blocks from the Capitol and congressional buildings. I didn’t have a TV so I walked down to an Irish bar that opened up it’s doors early for others like myself. It was mostly full of hill staffers in suits. They were streaming out of the Capitol and into the streets, walking who knows where.
It’s horrible to think of the approximately 3,000 people who died that day from the attacks. Though what first went through my mind when I heard the preacher say that number was what about the millions who’ve died in Congo over the years of war? Acts of terrorism in the Congo are being committed every day, particularly against women. That is just one out of many examples of unrecognized atrocities around the world. It is of course not a numbers game, I realize this. It is not the death toll that matters. Though what does seem to matter is that the voices which cry out are heard. The US, being a superpower is of course going to have one of the loudest voices on this planet. And even more importantly, a voice that will most certainly be heard.
Though honestly, at this moment, I feel detached from both the deaths of 9/11 and such devastation in places like Congo. In fact, I don’t really care. There was a time when I would tear up thinking about such losses, but all I can think about now is the loss in my own life. As it should be.
What I mostly thought about this morning during the sermon was I want to see my mother’s death commemorated every year on newspaper front pages and magazines. I want NPR to spend the day discussing my mother. I would like to see two huge beams of light streaming out of New York City in remembrance of my mom. She had nothing to do with New York, but I want that recognition.
Realistically, I know these things will never happen, but to me, her death deserves just as much time, attention and honor.
I want to scream from the tops of New York City sky scrapers and let everyone know that my loss is greater than theirs.