Why I Won’t Partake in the 9/11 “Remembrance”

I wasn’t going to write this, but I find myself compelled this morning. It’s my last word on the subject, written on the anniversary of a tragedy so damaging that our nation continues to reel 10 years later.

It started weeks ago, the deluge of photos, videos and news stories streaming though every pore of every media outlet like Saturday night’s booze oozing through Sunday’s church hangover. More than an attempt at remembrance, there is a thick, bitter aftertaste of sensationalism, capitalizing on the 2819 dead for the sake of a good ratings buzz. No station wants to miss this frat party and I can’t scrape the thick paste of distaste from my tongue.

Who can build the better photo montage? Who made the prettiest pie chart to count the dead? Who formed the graphic timeline so we can relive each horrific moment like a college football play-by-play? Who can rehash these tragic attacks in a bright, fresh, new way? ““How Gwyneth Paltrow Saved My Life on 9/11,”  although a sincere and gripping account by Summers McKay, is not about Paltrow pulling a woman from the rubble.

Yes, there are lovely stories too, those commemorating true heroes, the healing of families touched by tragedy, and communities banding together to rise up after the fall. My favorites offer hope, like Kantele Franko’s AP article, “Life of Ohio boy born on 9/11 shows new normal.” I want to read more about those children born on 9/11, children free of emotional scars, children who have never suffered under the crushing weight of what the rest of us felt that day. I want more talk about healing, moving forward, and love, not to be tarnishing these children’s beautiful birthdays with this ugly, monstrous event.

I signed on to Facebook this morning to find comment after comment of “Let us never forget!” I find this insulting. If I could somehow enter my mind with paint thinner and steel wool, that day could never be scrubbed clean from the inside of my eyelids or the beating of my heart. That day has changed the fiber of our being. It has made me – and all those who lived through it – who we are today. Let’s be very clear. We won’t forget.

The other common rallying cry is “God bless America.” Of those 2819 dead, there were people lost from 115 different nations. I may not believe in God, but I’d like to see that blessing become all-inclusive, recognizing the global terrorism that punches holes in people’s hearts of all nationalities.

Perhaps my angst stems from that awful Darryl Worley song “Have You Forgotten?” For those not familiar, this 2003 hit song promotes hunting down Bin Laden in Iraq (a country having nothing to do with 9/11, Darryl, which you clearly had forgotten) and essentially calls those who protested this unrelated war (like me) unpatriotic. It’s still on every country radio playlist and people continue to heed it as a rallying call against an “evil” of various definitions – often religiously and nationally slanted in an unjust manner.

It also angered me, just a year ago, when I received one email after another calling for my support of New York State license plates featuring the Twin Towers. Wouldn’t a better plan be to live  life as close as possible to normal rather than haunting our psyches on every back road and highway in my state? Honoring and constant, unhealthy remembering are two very different things.

When can we finally stop moving backward as a media nation, rehashing and re-slashing old wounds?

Kim Clune - Flight Attendant GraduationIf you don’t know me, I was still a flight attendant on that sunny day in 2001. I was in a glass window classroom at 8:30 a.m., cramming for my annual FAA re-certification, part of which covered hijacking procedures and weapons identification. Ironic, I know. I wrote more about that day elsewhere. This is the short version.

I had a perfect view of the World Trade Center and stood with my fellow flight attendants as we watched that second plane hit right in front of us. Our connection with those crews was as engrained as the bond shared between first responders. We were trained to place our lives in each others’ hands and we trusted each other to that end, whether we knew each other or not.

In a fit of panic, I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with sobbing co-workers on cell phones begging parents, husbands, children, siblings and dear friends not to jump from the towers burning before us. I couldn’t reach a single family member myself. Fleeing the scene, I crouched, rocking behind a green pickup in a small parking garage as a helicopter hovered over me during the National Security flight groundings. I was overcome with paralyzing fear thinking that “the enemy” was directly above. That’s when the second tower collapsed in my view.

I was forced to fly that following Tuesday or be fired. Plenty of flight attendants had called in sick and warm bodies were needed to man the planes, regardless of mental state. I was young, stupid and did what I was told at tremendous expense to my emotional well being. Silenced by contract, disallowing any public expression of fear or uncontrolled “corporate opinions,” many flight attendants like me mourned beyond society’s view – but for on the planes.

That Tuesday, I returned customers from Halifax, Nova Scotia via Newark, NJ to Birmingham, England. The plane was filled with British parents and children who had been stranded in a sports arena for a week on their way to Disney in Florida. We sat facing one another on take-off. Tears streamed down our cheeks in the dark. The rules had changed. There was no defense against suicide bombers. My uniform stripes meant nothing by way of protection. We all knew that my throat could be slit just for wearing them.

I took a 3-year personal leave the day that flight returned and then, after fully re-certifying, I resigned.

Years of PTSD therapy later, my life has changed in ways I never would have imagined. The healing is complete, but for a rare few adrenaline rushe at inopportune times, and I am happy. I don’t want to relive that event, even through the safe passage of time and through the separation of my television screen. I learned one thing from watching the news for months in search of a single iota of sense. It never, ever comes.

On this 10th anniversary, I will rally for better health care for first responders. Beyond that, I will I honor a decade of striving for health, happiness, healing, purpose and peace by quietly tuning out the hype. I will honor those whose lives were lost by remembering, but also by living, without pause, in the healthiest mental and emotional state I can achieve, loving all of life, all people, and flying in the face of what brought those lives we lost down – for my sake and theirs.

Only this will move us forward.



  1. YvonneDiVita says:

    Excellent post, Kim. I do think, however, that we need to acknowledge and respect the responses of all the others (like me) who sat helplessly by and watched in horror – knowing the only thing we could do was work to remember lives lost. I applaud you for this post – I believe we must move forward and treasure each passing day – and let the dead lie in peace. But, every year, at t his time, just as we observe other tragic events, we will stop to remember that everything we have, everything we do, everything we are, is temporary. And, to those who endured throughout this particular tragedy, we give our respect and embrace their memory, just as we do with each animal and pet that visits the Rainbow Bridge. While we say it’s not about us, it really is. It’s about trying to find a way to understand and show our admiration.

    • We are saying the same thing and honoring in the same ways. The only difference is that I’m delineating between the hype for the sake of media sensationalism and honest, heartfelt reflection.

      UPDATE as of 3/19/13: The following comments were resurrected after a LiveFyre comment system failure.

      YvonneDiVita says:
      September 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm
      Indeed, Kim. Which is why I resonate with your post. But, I also believe that it’s hard to qualify some responses as ‘hype’… even if they seem to be, so. I wonder if it isn’t a bit harsh to take truly heartfelt mentions of “let us never forget!” as insulting. Not everyone is able to express herself as well as you have. Many people do not know what else to say or do.

      Kim Clune says:
      September 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm
      Perhaps so, but I do connect my negative response to the phrase with a song purely packed with pro-war hype — a song that clearly made this guy millions. If that connection isn’t clear, I’m happy to have the opportunity to clarify now.

      YvonneDiVita says:
      September 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm
      Yes, I agree. And, in the end, your post speaks louder with more positive feelings, than his song. Still, I am not sure he only wrote it and sang it to make a buck. I think he believes it. IMBO

      Kim Clune says:
      September 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm
      Again, I agree. He was quite passionate. Sadly, he was also quite incorrect and unwilling to see through the war hype that the logistical connections were not complete. A victim of hype as well as promoter of hype…

  2. pumpkinpuddy says:

    Thank you. This is just how I feel, but I could never have expressed it so beautifully. I hope you don’t mind, but I linked to you on my blog.

  3. Thank you for this post. I think I shocked a friend and fellow police officer when I told her “We don’t have to rehash it to remember it” on Friday. I feel like the media is preaching at me and all my FB friends are pressuring each other to post trite “Never Forget” status updates. We won’t forget-no matter how much time passes. I plan on enjoying the beauty of this day with the TV off. That way, I feel that the terrorists haven’t won because I will go on with this beautiful life, undeterred.

    • Thanks for this. And that’s just it, Amy. What’s with the mantras? I think we’re at a point, as a nation, where we can think beyond the debilitating emotion and consider the meaning of our language. Have we become nothing more than blind repeaters rather than aware thinkers? I shudder at the very real probability for some. At any rate, having healed is not a crime and I see many responses on Twitter and Facebook that speak to the same thought. This encourages me. Enjoy your day. I will do the same.

  4. Sabine Stapells says:

    Beautifully written. I understand, respect and totally defend your reasons.

  5. I deliberately chose not to post today, because I want to respect everyone who lost someone on that day – but not feed into the media hype. I agree that we can honor and respect those lost without replaying the horror over and over again. I believe the people who were on those planes and in those buildings, and who were first responders would want us to move on with our lives and not remain frozen in the tragedy of that day.

    • Good grief, it’s not easy. Nobody claims it is. But getting stuck in the same day over and over again is just plain painful! And I’m not talking about people gathering in meaningful ways. This is actually the best form of healing… but the slideshows and constant photo sharing, and explosive videos… how is that helpful?

      My former professor, Daniel Nestor, tweeted today, “My rule, with which you are free to disagree: if you didn’t personally see the towers on fire or fall, you shouldn’t be posting images of it… I don’t understand at all. It’s not unlike posting a pile of bodies to accompany a holocaust FB post or one on lynching.”

      That people do this never made sense to me either. I’ve personally seen it, and even I would never do such a thing.

  6. one person's view says:

    I don’t have words. You didn’t have to die in the attacks to be a victim on that day. I’m not a flight attendant and I still have trouble flying. You have a right to your voice, to remember, reflect, and grieve in your own way. No one can judge another’s reaction to these events.

    Speaking as a Canadian, I think it remarkably charitable of you to write, “Of those 2819 dead, there were people lost from 115 different nations. I may not believe in God, but I’d like to see that blessing become all-inclusive, recognizing the global terrorism that punches holes in people’s hearts of all nationalities.” The attacks occurred on American soil, and America was the target; the others were, as the saying goes, “collateral damage.” It takes enormous heart to recognize that, to care, and to consider others in a time of your own tragedy.

    • Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts. Your perspective is so fascinating. It just strikes me as odd that to recognize other affected countries is somehow charitable. You wouldn’t think that this appreciation should be so hard to muster, right?

  7. You expressed it so well, and I do feel also too many are misusing this terrible event for their own profit and fame. I did not know your own personal story was tied into 9/11. I can only guess what you must have been through, let alone write this post. Thank you for the honesty and bravery to voice another opinion.

    • Thank you so much. I think there are many personal connections for many people, connection that spill beyond those who were in the towers, at the Pentagon, in that field, or part of rescue efforts. So many stories… As for the media, it seems like networks can’t help themselves. I said this on Twitter earlier, but the stories seep in earlier and earlier with each passing year. It’s like stocking retail Christmas decorations at Halloween. It just feels wrong. Anybody else notice this?

  8. My memories of that day are nowhere near as emotional, having been so far away. I agree, though, that the remembrances seem like too much and don’t do enough to honor those who lost their lives or found their lives so changed when they lost loved ones. I’ve had those things on my mind all week, but I’m skipping all the television specials too. To me remembrance is a personal thing, not a form of nationalism. Thank you, Kim, for having the courage to speak your mind, and share your experience. May you have some peace and comfort on this day, for you’ve surely earned it.

    • “To me remembrance is a personal thing, not a form of nationalism.”

      I absolutely agree. This was about so much more than America. It’s about people of all nationalities.

      As for the peace and comfort of this day… Today will be spent stripping the rest of the mold from my basement crawl space thanks to Hurricane Irene. Oddly, this pleases me. I am alive, I have a basement, and I will soon be rid of mold. Uneventful yet quiet, reflective time… Perfect.

  9. one person's view says:

    It can be very difficult to see the pain of others in the midst of your own, and I cannot fault Americans who see this as an entirely American tragedy. Those who feel the pain of others in addition to their own are very big-hearted and empathic people.

    One thing 9/11 taught us was that there is, in fact, more good than evil in the world. There were 19 hijackers. There were thousands of heroes. I choose to celebrate them, and focus on that aspect.

  10. I was wondering how you would reflect on this day today. A powerful post Kim and one I completely agree with. I feel the very same way and honor you for having the heart and guts to say it. Many of us felt pain and terror and fear on that day, but being there, and seeing what you saw and knowing you would have to deal with it as planes flew once again,well, I think that is why I have chosen to honor the people of the day by NOT participating in what seems almost sacrilegious to me. Thank you for giving voice to many of us who feel the same way.

    • Gosh. “Gutsy.” It sure didn’t feel like it when I wrote it. It just spilled out. I never thought so many people would call it bravery, a word that keeps popping up.

      Only after comments started coming did I wonder if it might upset somebody still trapped in the momory, especially after Bethanne Elion said, “I have many clients who are stuck in that day. They take the let’s never forget so seriously that they forget that they have lives to live — but they cannot. I have other clients who are so struck by the media onslaught of remembering that they cannot function on the anniversary dates.”

      So far, only one person responded negatively on Facebook .(He typically does when I say anything, so I don’t pay that much heed).

      Then people like Hilary Lane said, “Amazing story, Kim. Not only the first section, about the why (and the fact that of the 2819 dead, there were people lost from 115 different nations, yet we don’t seem to remember that), but YOUR story–about being a flight attendant, having to do your job the next day. I admire you for doing what you did, saying what you say, and being who you are.” This comment was so healing in ways I didn’t know I still needed.

      I have to get back to mold removal in the basement, but we’ll see what the rest of the day’s comments bring…

  11. ThePetBookLady says:

    Kim – I am so moved by your post. You’re a hero in my eyes for going through all that you have gone through. Big hugs from your Duck Butt Photo-op Buddy.

  12. I called it gutsy because on a day when so many feel as if they “have” to show that they are somehow “more” an American, by doing some sort of tribute or watching all the rehash on TV, you spoke for many of us who feel that honoring the 2819 lives that were lost doesn’t require us to post something on FB to show that we honor them too.

    I liken it to how we were once considered unpatriotic for not supporting the Iraq War. I don’t need to post something to show that I remember or that I am an American.

    I love that Hilary said she admired you for “being who you are”. I could not agree more.

    • Ugh. The unspoken, collective agreement of solidarity… Exactly. The rules aren’t written anywhere, yet we feel there is some code of honor to follow. It’s so disingenuous. I far more respect people who put their individual feelings on the line ans stand open for discussion than those who shout slogans into the ethos.

      Come to think of it, that’s why I am such a fan of you.

  13. Yeah. I’m not so politically correct am I? Certainly won’t be joining “the collective” anytime soon.

    And here I thought I was the fan. 🙂

  14. Pamela Douglas Webster says:

    Beautiful post. I opted not to comment anywhere on this horrific event.

    I think we have two groups of mourners: those who were directly touched by the loss of so many lives and those who are mourning their innocence.

    Unfortunately, there are many out there trying to profit from both sets of mourners. Shame on them.

    And thank you for pointing out a different way of showing respect without being sensational.

  15. Thank you for this post. Though I cannot imagine your experience, it reflects a sentiment felt by many.

  16. EdieJarolim says:

    Thanks for this, Kim. I had no idea about your background and your connection with the event but the inclusive nature of this post and your general positive demeanor shows that there are many ways of “not letting the terrorists win” — to use that awful cliche. One of them is not succumbing to hate and knowing how to do what you need to heal yourself. You’ve succeeded admirably in both. I’m so impressed.

    I didn’t know what to do either; I wanted to mark the event but I didn’t want to participate in the general horrorfest or, as you say, sanctimoniously patriot-fest. I even hesitated to put up my moment of silence as too “gimmicky” but decided every one has to do what feels right.

    I so appreciate your sharing your thoughts about this. It means a lot.

    • From the moment we met, I remember our lively conversation about religion and it’s exclusivity. I knew then that we each had hearts of an inclusive nature and I admired you very much for that. That kind of admiration — or at least immediate connectivity — is rare in my world.

      As for your moment of silence, I can’t imagine that anything done from the heart could be gimmicky. I have no doubt you struggled with what worked best for you. I found it to be sweet.

      My moment of silence wasn’t going to be pronounced at all. No post. No nothing. I don’t even blog on Sundays. But then I had all these feelings to process and I do that best by writing. Typically, I write very slowly and with great care… to a fault. This came pouring out in an hour. I interpreted that to mean it must have been right for me. (I never thought many people would read it either. Guess I was wrong about that part.)

      Thanks for taking the time to communicate.


  17. doggiestylish says:

    Thank-you for sharing your story. I did not know that you were a flight attendant or that you had personally witnessed the towers falling. I admire your determination to move on and heal, instead of being a victim, stuck in the moment.

    I didn’t know what to post on my blog today. I didn’t want to put up anything awful or overly patriotic, so I chose the StoryCorps animations. I thought that it was a suitable way to remember victims of the tragedy.

    • I thought the StoryCorps animations were an important, thoughtful and respectful outlet for processing, recognizing, and honoring those touched by tragedy. Suitable, indeed.

      As for the rest, I wish I could say I picked myself up so easily. It sounds so perfect in the span of a sentence. In truth, I did a LOT of not healing and remained stuck in the moment for too many years.

      I actually moved further and further away from society for some time, downsizing through 3 apartments due to lack of steady income until I landed in a deteriorating country house in the middle of nowhere. I became somewhat of a recluse, hiding my depression away in that house and communicating only by computer, unless I was drinking to excess in public.

      I think, about 3 years in, I realized this would probably kill me. That’s when I got help. And that was a long tedious process, revealing layers of underlying trauma that 9/11 brought out. It was like being torn down to nothing and then rebuilding myself as I saw fit, one brick at a time. I’m very grateful to have been so fully leveled for the simple fact that I had the opportunity to confront every closet skeleton head-on. There is nothing hanging over me anymore. And that is where true freedom lies — in defeating the injurious terrorism of our own minds.

  18. CarenOsrinGittleman says:

    Kim I am horribly sorry for what you had to endure on that day and for many days following. That had to be horrific and my heart goes out to you. Being that close to the horrible effects of that dreadful day sadly will be with you forever. Yes you WON’T forget.

    I do believe though that we all are comforted or honor in different ways. Just like there are so many different religions (I personally believe in one God for all but that’s an entirely different subject lol)

    One of the beauties of living in America is we have freedom of speech. You have the right to honor in your own way, whether that be choosing to do that privately or not, you have the right to ignore what others might feel it is necessary to post.

    This is no different than anything else that is brought to our attention on Television, Facebook or Twitter.

    There are many times I take great offense at having people’s desperate plights for money for surgery for their cat, dog, ferret or whatever thrown in my face to the point I feel guilty if I do not donate.

    The same with rescues. I often feel if i do not participate in a certain event that I will be judged as not caring about animals.

    I get tired of my Facebook feed being full of “WILL DIE TOMORROW!!!”

    I give to various pet funds, Altzheimer’s, Diabetes, The Heart Association, North Shore Animal League, Breast Cancer, The Kidney Foundation (the list goes on and on). What burns me is I give once and the mail KEEPS COMING.

    Ultimately I know that people have the right to share what they wish, post what they wish, and it is our choice to filter out what we choose to, we are free to ignore what we choose to.

    I just Thank God I live in a country with the freedom to do so.


    • That’s right, Caren. People have the freedom to say what they will. One of my very favorite quotes comes from the film The American President in which Michael Douglas’ character says:

      “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms.

      Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”

      That said, my only option isn’t to ignore what I don’t like. Nor is that yours. We have the freedom to offer an opinion on the matter, regardless of what others think of it. To ignore changes nothing. To speak out raises awareness, changes minds, stops the blind sheep from grazing on the status quo.

      A friend wrote to me on Facebook yesterday saying, “I’ve never thought of it that way. Seeing it through your eyes is really an eye opener.” I couldn’t have been more moved. And when I am presented something in a new light, I am often grateful to have my eyes opened as well. Not that I can’t sometimes be stubborn about it, but I really do try to rethink my position with fresh information. Then it’s on me to accept or reject.

      You may not agree with what I have to say here, but I most graciously invite you to disagree. Conversely, let us never simply ignore and stifle that which is important to our well being.

      Welcome expression.

      Welcome discussion.

      Welcome understanding.

      Welcome change.

  19. wantmorepuppies says:

    Kim, this is so well said. Thank you for sharing this today.

  20. I found your post from our Triberr group and I clicked on it because it was a ‘different’ 9/11 reflection. I’ve had my fill of the sensationalized stories, the photo montages and the Hallmark card one-liners. I’m glad I stopped by your blog!

    • Thanks for taking the chance. I did catch snippets of some beautifully appropriate coverage last night and found it very moving. But so much of what was aired in previous weeks was not that. Thank you for validating the discomfort I was feeling with all that sensationalism.

  21. LorieHuston says:

    Wow, Kim. I had no idea! Thank you for sharing this perspective with us. You moved me in a way that nothing else I’ve seen or read today has.

  22. Snoopysstory says:


    I read this great post this morning when I didn’t have time to comment – it’s been on my mind all day. There are so many people affected by this act in so many different ways, who are dealing with it in their own way.

    I love that your blog gave you the opportunity to express your voice in your way and that you had the courage to do so, despite your doubts about sharing how you felt.

    If nothing else I hope the remembrance of that day 10 years ago encourages more love and tolerance to fellow man,

    I live in hope.

    • I had absolutely no idea how much this examination of my own feelings would resonate with people like you. Thank you for coming back to say so.

      Nor did I realize how widely this post would be shared. Nearing a thousand visits for this post (on a good day, I rarely get more than 100 from regulars I now call friends), it’s a stunning realization of solidarity to see so many reach out to me here, on Facebook, Twitter, Triberr, and in email in response. I have been moved by every single precious point of contact. That you actually made the effort to come back, well, that’s just utterly amazing to me.

      Cheers to living in hope and each other’s company.

      It is truly my pleasure.

  23. Thank you for sharing this eloquent and moving post. I’m sharing it, as well.


  24. MariaS_Handmade says:

    Thank you! Having lost a very closed loved one on 9/11 I always find it insulting too when they say things like that. How could I forget that Carl is no longer with us? How could I forget walking the streets of NYC looking for him? How could I forget the anger and anguish and grieving that goes on in our hearts every single darn day? FORGET? You will have to kill me first.

    • Maria, thank you for sharing about you and Carl. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I have pictures running through my mind of what you describe and I know they don’t even touch the hurting you have experienced. I will never be able to walk in your shoes, but my heart goes out to you all the same. Some wounds stay with us forever, as you so personally know. Peace to you and honor to Carl.

  25. We will not forget has a lot more meaning to it than just referring to myself personally. I have 2 boys, a 9 yr old and a 1 yr old. The 9 yr old knows what happened but no idea the magnitude or the pain that went thru our hearts. It is our responsibility to make sure we never forget so we can make sure our kids never forget and they can do the same w their kids. Sometimes words have a lot more meaning into them than just the 4 words presented

    • Sharing meaningfully is so important, Jen, for us as well as generations to come. I do not argue with that in the least. I was referring to the mass of Facebook mantras being pasted without personal reflection. A friend said to me that she feels like people somehow perceive those who don’t partake as unpatriotic. Its a replay of the “stand with us or stand against us” mentality when these memes end with the line, “repost if you agree.” The comments from many others below reflect that that they, too, find this disturbing. Status updates could never provide your children with the meaningful or personal reflection that you offer. What you describe, I would never devalue. Ever.

  26. MariaS_Handmade says:

    Thank you Kim. He was 38 years old. He had just started his “dream job” at Cantor-Fitzgerald 6 weeks before. They never found his body or any belongings. He left behind a young wife and small daughter, as well as parents, siblings and friends. He was a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good brother, a good son, a good friend. We still mourn his loss every.single.day.

  27. Kim, Aaron Sorkin is one of my very favorite screenwriters. Between The West Wing and The American President he says so many things that are valuable to remember as citizens. The quote you mentioned above is one of my favorites as well.

  28. CarenOsrinGittleman says:

    Hi Kim, I most definitely didn’t “ignore” I voice my opinion. My opinion was that EVERYONE (YOU, ME, EVERYONE) has the right to their opinion. If you don’t want to acknowledge whatever event that is your choice, if I choose to acknowledge (OR NOT) an event that is MY choice. NEITHER choice is the RIGHT choice. What is RIGHT is what is RIGHT for US as INDIVIDUALS.

    It is not my place to judge what someone else believes or doesn’t believe. Nor do I wish to be judged for what I believe.

    I am one that posted some videos on my blogs for 9/11. I didn’t do it as “sensationalism” I did it because the videos moved me, they resonated with me, I wanted to share them.

    I didn’t post them to be “in anyone’s face”

    The other thing I mentioned in my comment is thank God we ALL live in America where we have the FREEDOM to say what we want to and for THAT we should ALL be GRATEFUL, no matter what we believe!

    What I do feel bad about is what I said about resenting when others need money, etc. I am HUGELY generous on other people’s blogs with donations to help with surgeries, to save animals, etc. It is a no brainer. I adore animals and I give to every darn organization I come in contact with.

    What I DON’T like is when I am made to feel guilty if I can’t at that particular time.

    I’ll tell you one thing, if I ever am faced with the choice of helping an ANIMAL or a PERSON, (at the same time) my choice will ALWAYS be the ANIMAL.

    Peace my friend

    • It seems I misunderstood your intention when you said, “You have the right to honor in your own way, whether that be choosing to do that privately or not, you have the right to ignore what others might feel it is necessary to post.” This is the statement I was responding to because your points seemed to back that up.

      I’m glad you clarified and that you do speak out. I worried, from your description, that you didn’t or that you thought people shouldn’t.

      If you felt the need to defend, in response to my post, the videos you shared, that was never my intent. The explosive videos, monstrous photos, and general attempts at reigniting the “shock and awe” are what I define as sensationalism and I seem to have to explain this time and again. The networks put them together to compete with one another, using tragic images rehashed again and again to gain ratings. Ultimately, this is the goal, the competition, the sickness that perpetuates.

      If you read through the rest of the comments here, I hope you’ll find that I have never devalued any action done in the spirit of honest emotion. That is entirely different.

      Peace to you, too, Caren.

  29. Wow- I started to read this yesterday but got interrupted and had to come back to it today. Thank you for writing it. I live in Portland, Oregon and I sat glued to the television for days horrified by all of the images post 9/11. I had to make a conscious effort to remove myself from it and move on with my life.

    (just an aside . . my husband and I do not watch the news and haven’t for more that 12 years . . .which makes watching the news now unbearable. I don’t think you really notice all the sensationalism unless you step away from it for a while.)

    My heart goes out to the many that witnessed this tragedy first hand, all of the first responders, the dogs that searched for survivors, the many people that lost someone they loved – how could anyone think that we would NOT remember?

    Thank you for sharing this with us -I can’t even begin to imagine what you experienced. Wishing you much peace and happiness 🙂

    • Thank you for coming back, Jules, and for your kind words.

      I too was glued the to television ten years ago. I think I was trying to match my mental image with the photos they kept showing. It got to a point where I was frantic for validation of the exact image I saw with my own eyes, but then my mind would adopt the newer, larger, more intense images as they appeared. Instead of confirming my own reality, I started to cloud it in a way that could never be restored. In effect, I was making myself crazy in this impossible, cyclical quest.

      Kudos to you and your husband for not watching the news for 12 years now. Wow. I go through fits and starts, and you’re right. Unless you step away, you don’t even see the sensationalism. In this day and age, there are plenty of other ways to get information without the drama, thank goodness.

  30. I miss West Wing! Why do all of the good shows go away . . .and we end up with more “reality tv” ugh. @Kim Clune @vthrasher

  31. @MariaS_Handmade Maria – Thank you for sharing a bit of Carl with us. I was deeply moved b your comments and responses. How could you ever forget? Carl was a part of you and his family and friends. He will always be with all of you. Like Kim I feel powerless and echo Kim’s response in saying that through you, Carl has touched me as well.

  32. @Kim Clune@EdieJarolim Have to agree with both of you. I have never thought of you gimmicky. In fact, just the opposite. That’s why I respect you both so much.

    Kim – I have often found that my best posts just pour right out of me. I am not surprised in the least that your post struck a chord with so many. How could it not? it touched many of us at our very core.

  33. TamarArslanian says:

    Oh Kim, I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine. As you may or may not know from my recent post I was in NYC on that terrible day.

    i actually have STUMBLE to thank for finding this post. I was Stumbling friend’s post for the first time ever – never done it before. I know it’s a weird thing to say – but I am glad I found and read this post for nothing more than to “get to know you” a little. It’s always such a tease when we meet at these blogger/animal events but hardly get to REALLY delve deep and know what else we might have in common.

    Reading about your being there with people speaking to those in the building really hit me. How horrible to feel so helpless. The horror. It’s a true horror movie come to life.

    I was just speaking to someone recently about how I really want to make change in my life and the 10th anniversary just reminded me about all those people who perished doing something they dreaded/hated each and every day. We were talking about those who did in fact change their lives that day. It sounds like that was you.

    I would really love to get together if you are ever in the city. I don’t have a car so i’m clueless about how to get to any place outside the city unless i can take a train there!



    • How ironic that I was reading your post at the same time you read mine. A serendipitous StumbleUpon, indeed. I wrote back on your blog post, as I’m sure you’ve seen by now. I look forward to more chats about life changes and wish you well on your journey.

      I was thrilled to meet in person at the conference and would love to get together again. Sorry I can’t make the Vegan Thanksgiving — thank you for the invite — but I will keep my eyes open for future opportunities!!

  34. TamarArslanian says:

    @MariaS_Handmade it pains my heart to read of your loss. I just found out recently that my bosses cousin who also worked at Cantor perished that day. Is there anything that can be said to make it better, I don’t know. Thank you for sharing. Our thoughts are with you and with Carl.


  35. Amy@GoPetFriendly says:

    Incredible post, Kim.


  1. […] other is a post written by my friend Kim Clune at This One Wild Life describing Why I Won’t Partake in the 9/11 “Remembrance”. You may or may not agree with Kim’s very unique and very personal view on the […]

  2. […] And finally, I wanted to share this post from Kim Clune from This One Wild Life about the 9/11 Remembrance. […]

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