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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Day Like Today

Exactly 40 years ago today my wife and I married each other. To give you some idea of where our heads were, and remain so, it was a tiny ceremony held at the minister's home with only six or seven people present. Neither of us had been married before, and she wasn't expecting.

Scarcely three years later, one of my wife's best friends, who had served as her "bridesmaid," marveled that we were still married. I don't know why she felt that way. Our marriage hadn't been marked by contention. Maybe she thought that that was a remarkably long time for my wife to remain patient with me. I wonder what that friend would think now, if she were still around!

I have the feeling that my wife is much more caught up today with attending a memorial service for another close friend than she is with observing an anniversary that would mean so much to others. This friend was elderly and was quite quickly taken out by cancer once it was diagnosed. She was in my wife's book club. All the club members members dearly loved her, and she was in fact a very fine lady.

My wife's sentiments run in some unusual ways, so that meanwhile for her our 40th anniversary is no more significant than was the 39th, or the 38th, or the 37th, and there's no way that I can argue with that.

In fact it is just as significant to her that September 11th also marked the birthday of yet another dearly loved one, my sister, who left us in that same year of disasters, 2001, though not before being incensed that Atta and the others chose that date for their perfidies. My wife was quite fond of my sister, too.

Oh yeah. This day also marks the fourth year since that huge disaster called "9/11."

But the closest the commandeered airliners came to here was the one that crashed into the Pentagon, in Arlington in this same state but 165 miles to the north -- too distant for any of its effects to be felt in this obscure rural county.. Despite all that is made of it elsewhere, 9/11 was an event that I never hear anyone bringing up, and I suppose that means that in a place like this it is only remembered and observed in private, beyond doing what is expected of all good Americans.

Just a few months after 9/11, we had occasion to spend a couple of days with a friend in Secaucus, New Jersey, where the citizens had had a clear view of the billowing smoke from the destroyed WTC buildings, right across the river. Possibly people from Secaucus had died in those buildings, and we were deeply struck by how that town was a sea of American flags flying everywhere. Everywhere else we had been during the odyssey of observance upon which we had been flung by a far more personal tragedy, things were much quieter.


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