Five Years Later.


The View from Brooklyn, then and now, in today's New York Times

We've all heard so many opinions and takes on what happened five years ago today. We've all had reasons to mourn what happened that day, in our own ways. I've talked about it in the past and I don't have much to add except that today I've been thinking a lot about the loss of innocence. People talk about the loss of innocence brought on by the events of 9/11 all the time. It's an obvious palpable thing we see everyday in a million tiny ways in airports and newspapers and the faces of strangers.

It was watching the anniversary coverage of the 9/11 attacks that made me realize just how instantaneous that loss was, the minute the second plane hit. Listening to the morning show hosts, still perky, still upbeat, watch the first tower burn, trying to explain it away with thoughts about nearby airports and small aircrafts and "I hope the pilot didn't have a heart attack". The minute the second plane hit it was all over. Suddenly it was "we are at war", and "thousands dead" and "either you're with us or you're against us". Things really did change that day.

I wasn't personally affected by the loss of a loved one or an attack on my homeland that day, but I sympathize and I grieve for a city I love, even though it's not my own. I realized today that the loss of innocence is the thing I grieve for the most. I miss a time when irony wasn't mandatory. I miss seeing Rudy Giuliani's picture in the New Yorker and thinking of him first as Yankee fan instead of a hero. I miss being able to watch a rerun of any old sitcom set in New York without feeling a chill up my spine every time an interstitial shot shows the towers looming in the distance before we head back to Central Perk, or Will and Grace's Apartment or a night out on the town with Carrie and the girls. It saddens me that syndicated TV is now laced with reminders of how much we've lost and how bleak the future seems. Innocence. Gone. It's not what I grieved for five years ago, but it's what I grieve for today.


  1. Beautifully written. Thanks.

  2. I couldn't watch any of the 9/11 stuff on tv last night. It was all just too horrible to watch again.


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