Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I was not as moved by the events of September 11, 2001 as it seemed I should have been. When the days events unfolded, I was starting a new temp job and along with everyone else in the building, trying to read about what was happening. It was incredibly shocking, and while I felt sadness for those who died, I just didn't feel it...personally, I guess. Afterward, my inherent fear and distrust of group think made me shy away from the patriotism stuff, and I wasn't willing to buy in to all the jingoism and hate-mongering (hatred for Arabs, Muslims, etc).

What has been far more moving than the actual events of that day (which were of course horrifying, I'm not heartless), is seeing the widespread aftermath. It's incredibly sad to see stories of the first responders and volunteers who are dying because of their exposure to the toxic materials resulting from the attacks. I've heard reports on Democracy Now! about the illnesses and deaths, about the difficulty of these secondary victims in getting health care and prescription coverage through their jobs or government agencies. In Sicko, a group of these first responders is introduced, and it's shocking how sick they are (and they are relatively healthy in comparison to some of their colleagues).

This morning I can't sleep and was reading lots of websites and I came across this picture:

EMT Marvin Bethea (photo by Allan Tennenbaum)

Allan Tennenbaum has a website with pictures of many first responders and interviewers with them (or their families). It's a must read. The page also links to a Time Magazine piece with audio of interviews from the series.

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