“You Don’t Have a 9/11.”

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More of ‘What’s Your 9/11?’ … from TPM Reader MS

I was a congressional intern working at the Capitol on 9/11, so not close enough to see actual carnage, but close enough to be scared. I remember briskly walking (people weren’t running) alongside members of Congress and staffers alike toward the Metro and seeing the plumes across the river. Not sure I even knew then that that was the Pentagon.

Now I live in Minnesota. On a local top 40 station yesterday, I heard a DJ interviewing Minnesotans about their 9/11 stories. Some had connections like a relative out East. But not all. And I remember thinking, “ugh, it isn’t always about you. In fact, this is the one one god damn thing that is most definitely NOT about you.”

I work in education, and there’s a saying that everyone thinks they’re an education expert because everyone went to school. That’s how I feel about 9/11. Everyone feels like they have a harrowing story because they watched it all live on TV. When I hear people tell their 9/11 story about how their college lecture got interrupted, it irks me. I get it-in some ways this was traumatic to all of us. But it didn’t really happen to all of us. I don’t really tell my 9/11 story because I don’t really feel like I have standing, and this despite the fact that I was just a couple miles away, and that it’s entirely possible the people on Flight 93 saved my life. Because 9/11 isn’t about me. I was fine and am fine. What I took away from that initial tweet that bugged you was a frustration with the broad narcissistic tendency to make 9/11 about me. This may not have been the writer’s intent, but those are the emotions it stirred in me.

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