Monday, September 11, 2006

Words of Wisdom

I really do normally hate anniversaries, even of important events, and I have zealously avoided Sept. 11 commemorations, but all the coverage of it brings back the best thing anyone ever said about this. I missed this at the time, though it brought a rare tear to my eye when I heard a tape the next day. From David letterman's Sept. 17 monologue, his first back on the air:

"The reason we were attacked, the reason these people are dead, these people are missing and dead ... They weren't doing anything wrong, they were living their lives, they were going to work, they were traveling, they were doing what they normally do. Uh, as I understand it -- and my understanding of this is vague, at best -- another smaller group of people stole some airplanes and crashed them into buildings. And we're told that they were zealots fueled by religious fervor, religious fervor. And if you live to be a thousand years old, will that make any sense to you? Will that make any goddamned sense?"

Here's the full thing. It's worth watching.


dogimo said...

I hope that the humanity that is there, within the hearts and the minds of all extremists, can some day begin to win out over the hate.

But that will never be possible as long as each side continues to demonize the other, as long as we allow ourselves to believe that the other side is anything less than human.

I saw that broadcast, that night. I tuned in and watched the Late Show. I remember I watched the whole thing and stayed up for hours after, but I don't remember the rest of the show after his monologue.

I had to look this up to get the exact wording:

"...there is only one requirement for any of us, and that is to be courageous, because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior.
And I believe, because I've done a little of this myself, pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing."

I will keep pretending.

Cassie said...

Thank you for posting that, Seani. I remember that day and the days following. Never in my life was I so homesick as the days and weeks following 9/11. I wanted to be in the U.S. The people here were great -- flowers piled up outside the American Institute -- but I wanted to be home.