Today is a day of reflection at SeppinRek. While Seppin and I can not remember that day, MSR can vividly. She is going to write her thoughts of that terrible day and then we will post some moments in comics which also referenced the tragedy.
MSR Remembers… I think anyone over a certain age can recall the moment when we realized what had happened on September 11, 2001. My day started unremarkably normal and ended in a surreal fog of horrifying sadness.
Our household started the morning much like most homes with toddlers. I had gotten my two year old twin boys breakfast and settled them in front of the television to watch their morning shows while I folded laundry in my bedroom. I had put on a morning show. I think it was Regis & Kelly or whoever was hosting with him at the time. They were visibly upset over the news a plane had crashed into one of the iconic twin towers of the World Trade Center. I quickly switched over to CNN and watched in horror as another plane glided, almost in slow motion, to the other tower.
I was shocked and I knew something was not right. I phoned my sister-in-law and her and my brother-in-law told me to pack up the boys and their things, and come over to their house. They only lived a few miles away, but I think we all had an inkling this was a time we needed to be together.
The news that came in waves were unfathomable. I saw when the second President Bush was told the news as he sat in front of a room full of school children. The look on his face gave me chills. When another plane crashed into the Pentagon, we all shook our heads in disbelief. As news of another mysterious crash in Pennsylvania, we all held our breaths, and were confused until we found out the details of those heroic men and women who took over the plane because they refused to let it crash into the White House.
I had to hold back the sobs as the first tower came down. I just shook my head in disbelief. I had to look away as people who were trapped in the burning buildings jumped. I can’t even imagine what those people had to be thinking or what they went through. The smoke as the other tower fell seemed to blanket a cloud of despair over the entire country and most of the world.
I went home and I was glued to the news, as most of us were. I cried when our elected leaders stood on the steps of congress, holding hands, and started singing, ‘God Bless America‘. It was a moving show of strength and unity, the likes of which I haven’t seen since and might never will again. The night descended and I don’t think I slept much. Every name of the victims, men, women, and children, on the planes, which were scrolling continuously across the bottom of the screen, made tiny knots form in my stomach. The images coming in from the day, the stories of people at ground zero, the pleas from families whose loved ones were missing to call them. It was devastating.
The next day was a time in history where we all seemed shell-shocked as a nation, but one thing remained clear. We stood strong as Americans. We cried with strangers, we held one another tighter, and we grieved as one. We say ‘Never Forget’ every year because we shouldn’t forget. We should remember the victims. We should remember the heroism. We should remember how we came together, not just as Americans, but as human beings. We should never forget we are one nation and, much like a marriage, in good times and bad, through agreements and disagreements, we will always stand shoulder to shoulder when it truly matters.
Rek: The effects of what happened on 9/11 and the War on Terror are still resonant in today’s world and the true impact it had on American culture at the time is still only just being brushed by theorists now. Of course there are smarter historians and researchers than I, and I do suggest giving a few of their books a read, but the affect 9/11 had on comics, video games, and cinema is significant to note when discussing the aftermath.
Seriously, play any video game that came out around the time of the War on Terror and it will probably be a war simulation or first person shooter. And the films coming out soon after tried so hard to explain what happened to Americans and concerned citizens around the world. Terrorism was the word on everyone’s tongue that they couldn’t wash away with Listerine. And comics was no different.
In an effort to demonstrate the impact 9/11 had on comics, it is important to analyze some of the responses sent out from DC and Marvel writers and artists from the time.