I delayed writing anything about 9/11. Since I am not American, nor did I know anybody directly affected by the attacks, I just didn't feel qualified to make a valuable contribution to the discussion or memorial surrounding the 10 year anniversary.
So here we are, a few days after the official commemoration, and I finally decided upon what I want to say. 9/11 is a landmark event that has, at least indirectly, affected nearly everybody in the world. I was 12. I remember waking up for school in the morning to the sound of my local radio station playing the Creed song With Arms Wide Open, spliced with anguished, fearful cries made by people with American accents. As I listened, knowing that something terrible had happened, the pieces slowly fell into place. At that time, I had known that bad things happened; I just didn't know that they happened now. It dawned on me that as I slept soundly, people killed each other, for no reason other than revenge and vindication. In an instant, I grew up.
My favourite 9/11 film is Remember Me. What I love about it is that it isn't even about 9/11. It's a story about love and family and friendship and being messed up and miserable and happy at the same time. It just happens to fall within the timeframe. Which is the essence of war, and how it affects ordinary people like us. We are just going about our daily lives, when suddenly our existence is threatened by decisions made by people in a distant room, rationalising our imminent death and destruction. Whether we are New Yorkers, Iraqis or Japanese doesn't change a thing. Whether the people who lead our country have made decisions that justify the punishment is beside the point. People are people. And death is tragic, no matter whose it is and why it happens.
“Whatever you do in life will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it because you can’t know; you can’t ever really know the meaning of your life… and you don’t need to. Just know that your life has a meaning. Every life has a meaning, whether it lasts one hundred years or one hundred seconds. Every life and every death changes the world in its own way. Gandhi knew this. He knew his life would mean something to someone, somewhere, somehow. And he knew with as much certainty that he could never know that meaning. He understood that enjoying life should be of much greater concern then understanding it. And so do I. You can’t know. So don’t take it for granted, but don’t take it too seriously. Don’t postpone what you want. Don’t leave anything misunderstood. Make sure the people you care about know. Make sure they know how you really feel. Because just like that… IT COULD END.”
— Tyler, Remember Me