Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More 9/11 reading

Like many others, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the events of 9/11 took place. We’ve all been bombarded by the tons of articles floating around on this subject in the last few weeks, and it’s easy to become emotionally overwhelmed by it all.

Some pieces, however, are definitely worth the read.

Former U.S. Army Specialist Colby Buzzell wrote a terrific book titled My War: Killing Time in Iraq, and has been writing articles for Esquire magazine ever since. This is an excerpt from an article he wrote, reflecting on how 9/11 has changed him:

At some point, I stopped telling people that I was in the Army and that I had gone to Iraq. I found that if you start to tell people that you served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, they say:

"Thank you for serving!" followed by either a) some flag-waving bullshit, or b) equally bad, "I just want to let you know that I'm strongly against the war, but I support the troops!" (This always confuses the hell out of me.)

Sometimes, with a smile, they ask you if you killed anybody.

And then there are people who think they know everything about everything and want to talk to you about the politics of the war, right or wrong. And most of them base all their political opinions on shit they hear on the Jon Stewart show, and they want to talk to me about what it's like over there.

Then some people don't say anything at all when you tell them that you were over there — all they say back to you is "Oh," with their pursed lips.

So that's why I like to drink alone.

This shouldn’t be funny, but it is – because it’s so true! My husband often gets asked if he killed anyone during his time overseas, and his response is always the same: “I just did my job.”

That’s all anyone really needs to know, I guess.

Another written piece that I’m partial to -- for entirely different reasons -- comes from actor Gary Sinise’s September 9th blog entry, which can be found in its entirety here.  

But, to summarize, he asks himself a number of questions that are certainly worthy of reflection from us all:

“I can most certainly say that what happened to our country on September 11, 2001 changed me forever. It forced me to rethink everything. What do I really believe? How do I want to raise my kids? What kind of example do I want to set for them? What can I do to give back to this great country I love? How can I use my good fortune to help?”

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