The Tears Still Come
I lost it watching this stupid, unimportant clip of the Saturday Night Live opening the very first Saturday after 9/11.
I just started weeping. Like it was yesterday. I watched the rendition of The Boxer by Paul Simon, and as the whole clip finished, I just felt overwhelmed, again, like I had that day.
Those of you who are my son's generation were just in grade school. It is real to you, but it isn't really. It's like the Bay of Pigs Cuban missile crisis for me, or the Vietnam War. I was an infant, and just a kid, respectively, then.
I dragged out the VHS (yes, I'm still that old) tapes I'd recorded of an ABC News special 10 days after 9/11, entitled ironically "America Fights Back" and started watching it.
It dragged me right back, with its morbid counts of how many tons of debris had been carted away from Ground Zero, and how many acres it covered in its new location.
It showed how we had constant scrambles of fighter jets over the nation, especially the capitol. To protect us, to protect the next possible, targetted flights from horror.
Then, after that on the tape, is the "AMERICA: A Tribute To Heroes" concert on TV to raise funds for the firefighters and police officers.
It opened with Bruce Springsteen's "My City of Ruins" acoustic version. More tears.
Interspersed throughout are images and video from those days. Puts you right back there. Grips your heart to see it all again. Like a vise.
The anguish in Billy Joel's voice and face made it feel even worse.
Sting sang "Fragile", dedicated to a friend who died that day. I think we've truly, as a whole, forgotten that real state of all humanity.
But the one that got me the most though, was Jon Bon Jovi's acoustic version of "Living On A Prayer."
I remember thinking, that's what all those people in those stairwells would have been saying to one another.
I lose it again.
The ABC newscast I taped back then has so many people saying how this pulled us so together, got us to overcome the racial lines in the sand, the divisiveness. But that really has been forgotten in this Trayvon Martin- Christopher Lane state of the nation we're in currently.
God, help us.