September 11, 2010. Nine years later, and still more fearmongering, shrilly voices and downright hateful words than I ever imagined possible. Evidently the old reassurance that time heals all wounds applies to everything but this day.
I remember standing at a candlelight vigil with others in my community two days after it happened. Now most of those same people are teabaggers getting ready to have a rally a block away from my house on Sunday.
I remember wondering how my husband would get home from Iowa where he'd gone for his grandmother's funeral earlier that week. He drove back, in a somber, reflective tour of the midwest.
I remember thinking that it would be like an earthquake -- devastating for awhile but ultimately we'd all move on with our lives, rebuild the damage and hope nothing like that happens again in our lifetime. And slowly, slowly, we'd heal. We'd get some perspective.
Nine years later the crazy is worse, not better. I can't recall a year where the public insanity has been driven to such a fever pitch since the day it happened. I can't remember less respect being given to as many people as this year.
If someone looked into their crystal ball eight years ago and predicted this week's news cycle, I'd have laughed them out the door. Being an optimist isn't always a good thing, I guess. The whipping and stirring of anger, fear and hate this week has bordered on the hysterical, and a hysterical nation is something we just don't need. At least, it's not working for me.
But here, a breath of fresh air from yesterday's presser with President Obama, where he gave a serious and refreshing answer to a stupid question from a Fox News reporter: