Emphasis should be on humanity, people, not structures or dates

, Managing Editor

Last week a professor of mine was going over what was ahead for the weeks to come. When she got to today's plans she paused and calmly said, "It would be inappropriate to carry on in a normal fashion on Wednesday."

Inappropriate, yes. But perhaps the better word is impossible.

For decades to come, this day will ring in the ears of our generation as the day of the unordinary - the day of unanswered questions and unexplainable feelings. The 11th day of this month will never again be just another day.

None of us wants it that way, but the choice isn't ours. The choice was made for us one year ago today.

However, we are not choiceless. It is now up to each one of us to decide how to treat the day. No one, whether it be the President or the leader of the evil who brought it all upon us, can make this decision for us.

So the question becomes, "How do I treat it?"

Again, no one can make that decision for you. But I will tell you how I will treat it.

In reality our observance of this day will change each year. This year will be more emotional than next, and so on.

But regardless of how many years it is after the fact, most will see today as a day of respect and remembrance. I would agree.

What I question is what - or more importantly, who - we are remembering.

When most people, including myself, consider their thoughts of 365 days ago, it was the horror of two of America's most recognizable buildings crumbling to the ground.

In actuality, there were 3,062 people who met horror that day. Those are the people I will respect and remember, not the buildings, not the day.

Sitting in class last year watching CNN's live account of the happenings in New York City has become nothing but an image. None of us could truly see what we should be remembering and respecting today.

The final moments of thousands of lives were collectively filled with more horror than I will see in my lifetime. The amount of horror that rang through the falling rafters of the World Trade Center and Pentagon was more than any of us sitting in Muncie can truly come close to understanding.

The only way I can justify my own actions today is to remember those single named people - the human beings in those buildings, along with the people of the Pentagon, and the brave souls of the passengers in Pennsylvania.

The buildings falling was an economic downfall. They were material.

That is if they were empty, but they weren't.

Remember the people, not the structures.

I'm not talking about the more than 300 firefighters that died that day. Nor am I referring to the 50 plus police men that sacrificed their lives in duty. Not the numbers, the numbers are just that - a figure.

Remember the people - everyone from Sophia Addo, a housekeeper for Windows on the World, to Roger Rasweiler, vice president of Marsh Inc., both confirmed dead according to CNN.com.

The word impossible comes up if one tries to honor each victim individually, but today my choice is simple.

My choice will not be to get caught up in CNN's constant pummeling of last year's events throughout the day. My choice will not be paying attention to the colored terror alert. My choice will not be to watch a "60 Minutes" Air Force One interview with President Bush.

My choice is simple. It's the people, just remembering the people.

Write to Greg at gmfallon@bsu.edu


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