Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Six Years Gone

It is exactly six years to the day -- September 11. The big difference in 2007 is that it is a cloudy and rainy day. THAT particular day held a clear blue sky. Indeed, U2's "Beautiful Day" created the perfect soundtrack moment.

Then, as they say, everything changed.

To use another U2 song, the question that has arisen now is: Are we still
"stuck in a moment" we can't get out of?"

Monday's USA Today raises the question of
whether it is time to "move on" -- whether the extended formal ceremonies, the reading of nearly 3000 at Ground Zero, are quite as appropriate as they once were. Local broadcast station WABC (Ch. 7) first announced that it was going to forego the reading of the names, in favor of regular programming. However, the backlash was apparently too much: They will do the reading of the names. That suggests that for a certain segment of the grieving survivor community, it's still somewhat too soon.

I think Channel 7 should have stuck with their decision: Yes, it is a financial one: They think it makes more sense to do their "normal" entertainment programming (with the advertising that comes with it). Fine. There are innumerable other stations -- primarily on cable or sattelite -- that will be doing business as usual. They are presumably getting a fair amount of viewership.

But, perhaps it is still too raw for some people to permit New York local stations to just move on.

Yet, today's New York Times
moves that view a bit further with a look at Michael Bloomberg's efforts to restore/create a "new normal."

This is the last year that a significant portion of the ceremony will actually be held at Ground Zero. To be exact, the families will walk by the pit, but not remain there: Bloomberg determined that with ongoing construction, it wasn't safe to hold the full proceedings at Ground Zero. Thus, the actual recitation will happen at a nearby park. Next year, there won't even be a "walk-by."

In a sense, this the most symbolic way to show a "moving on." The families no longer "stay" at the Pit. They approach, reflect -- and move on.

In many ways, New York as a city has already done that over the last six years. It is appropriate. The grieving time has become a thing of the past.


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