By Dave Winer on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 9:29 AM.
I had lunch yesterday with Jay Rosen, my NYU colleague and friend.
We hadn't met since before the summer. I think it was really good to take a break, after doing a weekly podcast together for many months, to get a chance to step back and keep my thoughts about media news mostly to myself. But our lunch was more or less like the podcast, but perhaps a little more frank and risky -- because speaking in front of a microphone for others to listen to is very different from talking person to person.
It was a gorgeous late-summer day, so we ate outside at a restaurant near the Cooper Square NYU journalism offices.
Eventually the conversation got around to 9/11. Of course everyone knows tomorrow is the ten-year anniversary. As the news media ramped up, especially NPR, I got very tired of hearing about it.
My feelings about 9/11 could be summarized as follows:
1. We got through it.
2. Our worst fears of dirty bombs, and constant attacks, have yet to materialize. Knock wood.
3. It was the excuse used to start a very optional and horrible war in Iraq, one which destroyed their country, and more than we realize, destroyed ours.
5. Nor the betrayal of the promise-filled President we elected, supposedly, to fix the damage done by his predecessor.
6. The remembrances of 9/11 will be about the suffering of Americans, but we didn't really suffer that much.
7. My father, who was lost during 9/11, and was then found -- has since died of natural causes. That's how much time has passed.
That's how I felt before talking with Jay yesterday.
He didn't say much, but he did say it was the worst day of his life. He was in the middle of it on 9/11/01.
Where I live and work now is in the zone that was thrown into chaos by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
I realize I am a strange duck from the standpoint of 9/11. I experienced it from California, and blogged it, as my NY counterparts couldn't. I received their emails and pointed to their pictures and stories. I acted as an online anchor, and learned a lot that day, and grew a lot, all while being scared out of my mind and depressed. The blogging helped me get through it.
But the people here in New York, who live in my adopted home, their 9/11 experiences were radically different.
So, to me, that is the meaning of 9/11. Some people just like you and me, people I see every day on the subway, on the bike trails, in meetings and in restaurants, they lived the calamity and survived the killing of 9/11. It's out of respect for them that we mourn the events of ten years ago today. It's their pain that we recognize. But I don't celebrate the terrible things we as a country did in the name of that pain.
I have a suggestion for NYC-based bloggers, many of whom weren't yet bloggers in 2001. If you haven't already done so, how about writing up your memories of the day? It would be incredbile to read.
Also, I have some things to say about the podcast too, but they can wait until after we're through this event.