**Note: This post is from last year. My attempts at writing something more meditative than angry for the 10th year anniversary are, thus far, not going well. The anger is still valid, but I will save it for another day.
I could tell you where I was, what I was doing, what I first thought, and how we were all sent home just in case. I could tell you that the only time the reality of it hit me was when someone on a crowded train home told me that 300 police and firefighters were trapped in the building that collapsed. But really, what I remember of that day hardly matters.
Since I was in Boston, and not in New York, since I had no friends or relatives in any of the buildings, or aboard any of the planes, there isn't much of a story to tell.
This year it snuck up on me. Sure, I've got plenty going on, but I think the real reason is that there isn't feeling that the anniversary is being used for political gain. We have a new president now, one who is not a "War President" even though we are still at war. The focus is returning to where it should be, not on the politics or the President, but on the people who died that day and the families they left behind.
Of course, the politics aren't gone entirely. There were so many rude and inappropriate comments left on an editorial about a national day of service that Boston.com had to shut down the comments for the piece. Apparently, being asked to do something for the people around you is unthinkable. And all of that is without going to the overtly political sites, who have their own questions and objections.
I wonder if and when we will reach the point that 9/11 is like December 7; a day to be remembered, but no longer so fraught with political overtones. It's hard to say whether 9/11 really changed the country, or if our reaction to it did.
When we remember September 11, I wish we could also recall September 13. Before we mistook revenge for justice, and Saddam Hussein for Osama bin Laden; before the flag stood for belligerence and machismo, and before it was co-opted for a single party. Two days after the attacks, the nation stood together in candlelight vigil to honor the dead and comfort each other, and that, we should never forget.