September 11: Stories That Bind

September 11th, 2007 by Larry Smith

flickr-photo-download_-ground-zero-nyc-1.jpg So here we are. The sixth anniversary of 9/11. September 11 fatigue seems to be kicking in for many of us, and surely the big media will do their best to cover it. But in the end, there remains no more powerful way to tell, and retell, 9/11 stories than from the most personal (compared to, say, political) perspective. It’s how the story started, after all. In truth, one of my inspirations for this very site was how the “Newspaper of Record” chose to tackle this story: one person at a time.

We tell stories to remember what happened. And whether firefighter, family member of victim, resident of downtown Manhattan, or total stranger to the city, everyone has a 9/11 story. And, just as six years ago folks reached out in extraordinary ways (simple acts such as sharing cabs went a long way), perhaps today you can use the anniversary to reach out and ask the person next to you in the elevator or the burger line, “So, what’s your 9/11 story?”

It’s not a new idea. It’s not even news, really. But for today, this day, when perhaps you don’t want to look at another thousand tragic photos or read another thousand words about why we still haven’t found Bin Laden, I’d like to think that sharing a story with your neighbor—because we are all that, if nothing else—is one of the most honest and heartfelt ways to remember.

Photo credit: Flickr user crossfirecw