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#Microblog Mondays 107: Anniversaries

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I didn’t write about the 15th anniversary of September 11th yesterday because I didn’t have anything to say.  But I spent the day thinking about it.  Thinking about the actual day 15 years ago, and how it impacted everything that has come after.  I know that I come from a place of privilege; not everyone gets to decide how they approach the day.

It feels strange to not say something, or, more accurately, to say anything else.  Doesn’t it sometimes feel that way on social media?  That your choice is to speak about the event on hand — good or bad — or say nothing at all.  But anything in between feels like you’re stepping over an unspoken line.

Which is true and not true at the same time.  Maybe you thought it odd that I wrote about my guinea pig instead of the 15th anniversary, or maybe you didn’t think anything of it at all.

Do you ever feel odd not speaking about a moment or event that is clearly on everyone else’s mind?  Do you think we have an obligation to publicly speak, or is it enough to privately remember?


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1. The Parenting Challenge – Random Thoughts Naba 12. Lori Lavender Luz 23. Transition of Thoughts
2. ‘ Sweet Talk’ Nom Nom With Naba 13. Dr. Amrita Basu 24. Liz
3. Parul Thakur | Happiness & Food 14. A. 25. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled)
4. Modern Gypsy 15. Isabelle 26. Mom Pharm D
5. Wendy English 16. Infertile Girl 27. Mali (No Kidding)
6. Unpregnant Chicken 17. Empty Arms, Broken Heart 28. Mali (A Separate Life)
7. Middle Girl 18. Cyn K 29. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal)
8. Traci York, Writer 19. Just Heather 30. deathstar
9. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 20. Shail
10. Tedi @ Running with Infertility 21. Dubliner in Deutschland
11. Who Shot Down My Stork? 22. Jess


1 Nabanita Dhar { 09.12.16 at 5:31 am }

There are times when I feel I should speak while there are also moments when I feel no need to say anything. In social media already so much is said that it’s okay if we don’t. And also we all process events differently. So, yes, it’s okay that you chose not to speak about it.

2 Parul Thakur { 09.12.16 at 5:32 am }

We never have an obligation to publicly speak. We need to remember the sacrifices made and the pray for the families who lost 15 years ago. An act of terrorism disturbs the whole world and I have seen the site after the incident. It shook me from within. I don’t have any picture or any word. It’s in my heart and 9/11 will never be forgotten.

3 Beth { 09.12.16 at 6:09 am }

Yes. I remember where I was, of course. But then I’m in an odd position because 6 years ago on sept 11, 2 frozen embryos were transferred and one became my beautiful oldest daughter. We celebrate Transfer Day in sept 11, which makes it a mostly happy day. Some years it has a bittersweet moment when I think of her twin who did not implant, but it’s mostly a celebration. And sometimes that feels off, especially when, like yesterday, a family member giggles and says most people wouldn’t celebrate that, making my daughter and I both uncomfortable. So yes, I agree that it does feel like talk about the big, sad, scary thing or sit quietly.

4 Jessica { 09.12.16 at 6:43 am }

September 11 is never the same again, every year. Each of us remembers. We try to move on, but we never forget.

5 Wendy English { 09.12.16 at 6:55 am }

It seems like a lot of people are commenting after the fact when it comes to the 9/11 anniversary.
Sometimes it’s just hard to know what to say.
Quiet remembrance is sometimes just what we have to do.

6 Kaeleigh { 09.12.16 at 8:04 am }

I felt weird yesterday because I too had nothing new to say on it but felt the pressure to acknowledge it on Facebook as everyone else was. Instead I mostly focused on how Bean Sprout hit 9 months. I felt a little weird but life, she marches on, while I remember that day and how it changed our world I cannot pretend that I am stuck in that place. I wouldn’t want to be anyways.

7 Middle Girl { 09.12.16 at 8:20 am }

One of my friends announced on Saturday that she was staying off line on Sunday because of all the talking and images related to he anniversary saying it was to emotionally draining. I’m sure others felt the same but didn’t say. We will never forget but whether we speak on it or not.

8 Traci York { 09.12.16 at 8:26 am }

I thought of a funny (to me, anyway) comment I wanted to post yesterday morning on FB (about last night’s football game), but after seeing my newsfeed filled with remembrances, it felt somehow disrespectful. Kind of like driving past a cemetery service with your car radio blaring. I decided to turn my music down until later in the day.

As far as being obligated to comment on something – I think, presented in a certain way, it’s almost worse than saying nothing at all. I have no problem with people using pre-made filters on their profile pictures (Go purple for this disease! Show your team pride with this temporary picture!). But the ones that entreat us to pray for/remember victims of tragedy? Something about seeing someone’s typical, happy-faced-look-at-me-I’m-winning-at-life photo framed by the somber message sets my teeth on edge. Your mileage may vary, of course.

9 Lori Shandle-Fox { 09.12.16 at 8:30 am }

I still lived in NYC at the time. While everyone will remember specific things about that moment wherever they were, I think it brought a special bond to New Yorkers forever. It bothered me that when I worked at a job when I first moved here to North Carolina that nobody even mentioned it on that day. I know that’s not fair, because that doesn’t mean it wasn’t on their minds. It’s just that for those of us who lived there, the feeling of it was literally and figuratively in the air for months afterwards. A bunch of other transplanted New Yorkers/New Jerseyites and I at that job ended up gravitating towards each other that day. As a group, we all talked about our personal experiences. It was comforting.

10 Tedi @ running with infertility { 09.12.16 at 8:39 am }

I felt the same way yesterday. I didn’t know what to post or what to say, but it was definitely on my mind. I think it happens a lot to me at least.

11 Risa { 09.12.16 at 8:57 am }

This was on my mind as well. I didn’t say anything yesterday. One part of me thinks, ok, everyone else is covering it, why do I publicly need to say something (because in social media world, if you didn’t say it it means you don’t care)? My thoughts were there. Just not written down. But then I feel guilty. And I shouldn’t. Because it’s not about me, and that would be making it all about me.

12 Cristy { 09.12.16 at 9:04 am }

Lori’s comment adds a new wrinkle to this: it’s one thing to be aware of an incredibly tragic event, it’s a whole other thing to have lived it. I remember well watching the second plane hitting the towers. I had been at work, dealing with conflicting news about an unconfirmed terrorist attack that basically caused the plant workers to leave their machines and look for their nearest television. Many working the lines where Muslim. You could see the fear in their eyes as the details came in. And I panicked because I had a good friend who was in the Navy and had just returned from a 6 month tour on an aircraft carrier.

Still, I didn’t live in through it. I didn’t witness the shock and horror directly. So though I remember, I didnt have anyone to bond with like Lori pointed out. Though this event has changed our country, it also has resulted in different types of scars. And some are deeper than others

13 Charlotte { 09.12.16 at 9:05 am }

A lot of times I feel like everyone is saying the same thing, so I don’t need to, whether it be on the comment section of a blog or elsewhere. The thing that bugs me about the 9-11 Anniversary is those memes begging me to “never, ever, ever, ever, ever, and one more time EVER, forget.” I mean really. No one forgets. I think we all silently replay that day in our heads, and that’s enough.

14 Amrita Basu { 09.12.16 at 9:23 am }

Its more important to know when to speak ,and when to be silent.The most difficult thing in this world is to be able to hold your tongue.I found your#Microblog Mondays on a blogger friends site and totally loved it.In this mad world of more and more content creation sometimes “a few words ” can go a long way.

15 Delenn { 09.12.16 at 10:03 am }

I guess as time goes on, I feel that the people who should speak are ones directly affected. I also did not post/comment on it…but I did reflect on it a lot. I think one of the reasons why I think this should be private more than public–because of how 9/11 has been used politically. It has made the sacred almost profane. So, I choose not to speak publicly. On the other hand, I do think it should be a National Holiday in the purest forms and should be a day of service to help human kind. I wish people and leaders would pick up on that and now that some time has put distance to it, perhaps it is time to ingrain it into our National heart in another way.

On a personal note, part of our reflection was to ask our son what he remembers…he was 2.5 years old at the time. He doesn’t remember much, but he does remember hushed tones and crying.

16 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.12.16 at 10:33 am }

I chose yesterday to honor and remember the event in a private way. I posted only a Share of an article in the Atlantic on the narrative we are constructing about 9/11. I did have a pang, though, wondering if I *should* post something, as you muse here. Then I dismissed it. Silence can be a way to keep the focus where it belongs.

17 Cyn K { 09.12.16 at 1:03 pm }

I didn’t log on to social media yesterday, so I avoided any peer pressure to comment. I don’t think I would have even had I been online. I’m not sure if I could have added anything insightful.

18 Ashley { 09.12.16 at 1:41 pm }

I shared a memory of a post from a few years ago on Facebook. I didn’t feel externally compelled to post something, but internally. I didn’t live through the day the way the individuals in NYC or DC or even western PA did, but it was a very formidable event during my college years. I guess, as Lori shared, I felt compelled to share as a way of finding camaraderie in the scary memory of that day. And, perhaps, because as Delenn expressed, I want to keep the humanity in the story and not allow it to be just a political gambling piece. Regardless, it is certainly a day I won’t ever forget along with millions of others in this country and abroad.

19 Isabelle { 09.12.16 at 1:46 pm }

I don’t think we are obligated to speak publicly about something that is on everyone’s mind. I chose to think about it privately and I don’t ever feel odd to not comment on it.

20 Dubliner in Deutschland { 09.12.16 at 4:32 pm }

I know what you mean. Sometimes when a big event happens I do feel like I should post something about it on my blog or facebook but yet I can’t find the adequate words to express myself (for instance after a terror attack.. ) and then I often say nothing. It’s so hard to know sometimes.

21 torthuil { 09.12.16 at 5:36 pm }

I don’t specifically acknowledge 9/11 anymore. I don’t have anything new to say. I’ve processed the event and come to my own conclusions, so the passage of the day is a reminder of that but nothing is really different from any other day. For me 9/11 presented a challenge of how to face the future. So really every day since has had significance.

22 Jess { 09.12.16 at 7:09 pm }

So interesting…I was just talking about this with my husband. Like how most of my teacher friends all wrote a facebook post about how wonderful it was to start a new year with new kids, and I just didn’t do it. I feel like that’s evident and my tooting it to the world doesn’t make me a better teacher necessarily. I wasn’t going to comment on 9/11 (and I actually appreciated the Truman post yesterday as a spot of hope in a day full of neverending videos of disaster), and then I thought of something that put it into a perspective for me that I felt was missing from a lot of the posts…that Mr. Rogers meme about the helpers. And all the wonderful stories about the helpers on that day, such as the boat lift evacuations by private citizens that I hadn’t really known about until someone shared a video. But it was sort for me. I didn’t want to write an “always remember” thing, because I have no choice BUT to remember that day. But reminders that helpers are out there, and we can always choose to come together and love and find community in rough times? That meant something for me. This is a weird thing with social media I feel… like how I felt pressured into changing my profile pic into a flag for countries who had attacks and then refused to do it after a while because there was never one for Turkey. But I always feel like people are judging me for NOT changing my profile pic or commenting on certain anniversaries. Sigh.

23 Justine { 09.12.16 at 8:11 pm }

I think sometimes silence can say more than words, just as we need negative space sometimes. I don’t like feeling pressured to speak or judged by silence, and I’m glad that you did what felt right for you.

24 Mom PharmD { 09.12.16 at 11:07 pm }

I appreciate when the tragedy has stopped being so immediate that we don’t have to talk about it again on the anniversary. I’d rather focus on how we move forward than the experiences of the day anyhow. All the “never forget” rhetoric seems like an effort to cut into old wounds and keep them from healing and that’s just unhealthy.

25 Mali { 09.13.16 at 12:10 am }

It’s a bit like the Fb memes and pressure to change photos to flags or rainbows or whatever after a major event. I don’t ever respond to these, because I don’t feel the need to prove how deeply I feel by doing something like this. I’d prefer to remember or to do something practical (for example, donate to a worthy cause, etc) than feel pressured to say something.

By the way, I think most people in the world will remember where they were when they heard about the attacks, though of course it’s different when it is your own country. Still, we all felt the fear of not knowing what would happen next, knowing that we too would be affected by what would happen next.

26 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 09.13.16 at 1:07 am }

Days mean different things to different people, so I think it’s okay to express that with what you write – or don’t write. I don’t always even recognize holidays on my blog. Sometimes that’s just not what’s on my mind.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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