Sunday, 11 September 2011

Where were you that day?

I didn't wake up in time to watch the start of the memorial because I've been just exhausted on and off these days, fretting about one hundred things or other.
I tuned in at around 11:15 or so to see them reading out the names of everyone who was killed that day and they were only at the M's. I think the services started at 9.
This, the reading of the names is really--I can't find words, but the amount of time it's taking... so many people. Gone. They have relatives of the victims coming up to read the names, letting them also read the names of the people they personally lost. It's heartbreaking. Every time a kid comes up my heart breaks even more. They probably barely even recall that day, if they were even born. One boy was about thirteen, and was there to read out his father's name. "I wish I could have known you better," he said.
Behind each pair of people doing the reading they have a soldier or a police officer or a firefighter, and there was one who nearly broke down while the names were being read. You could see him chomping down on his lip, his chin trembling.

By this time ten years ago I think I had already left school with my friends. There'd been an announcement from the principal over the PA system and I'd been in the library all morning where they had footage playing on the tv set, and I just remember thinking over and over 'This can't be real. This kind of scene belongs in a movie."
A lot of people left school that day just because there was no way anyone would be able to focus on classes. We watched more of the footage at a friend's place until we realized they were just playing the same stuff over and over again, that they still didn't know any more than they did before, so we switched it off.
I'm pretty sure I went home not long after that and promptly switched the tv back on. Morbid curiosity or shock, I don't know. I sure as hell couldn't focus on anything else.

Almost two hours I've been watching and they're on the V's.

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