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    It's five years later, and what have you learned?

    Some of us still sit here in numbed silence over what we saw that day. Some of us feel the anger and rage of injustice, of loss, of a circle not exactly closed. In lower Manhattan, a cruise missile's throw from my office, there's a giant hole in the ground with a big fence around it, and a few structures that continue to stand beyond the perimeter, shrouded in cloth like mourner's at a funeral. People argue and complain over a "memorial." Others make movies about a flight that crashes into a field in Pennsylvania, or the valiant efforts of policemen trapped under rubble.

    Are you bewitched, bothered, bewildered about that day, what's been done since, about the state of the world now? Do these "anniversaries" warm you like toasted pop tarts with a sense of sympathy, community, and civic duty? Or is your heart twisted like so much smoldering metal, unable to straighten or cool itself from the pain or sadness that continues to grip it? Five years later, man. I morbidly joke with co-workers that it's too much of a temptation that the Brooklyn Bridge is so close to our building. Most days we feel like walking like zombies off of the side if we think too much about what's half a mile away.

    But President Bush assures us that we're all much more secure than we were before. Try and remember that when you have to strip down to your skivvies and hand over your shampoo bottles before boarding that plane. Oh, and please take no offense if someone pulls you aside for, say, several years, because you're not exactly white and your name has a suspicious number of vowels or hyphens. And remember, there is no one tapping your telephone calls or compiling your internet searches into huge databases. That's urban legend. Osama may still be out there redecorating one cave after the other, but hey, Saddam's in custody. That has to count for something, right?

    More military personnel and civilians have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan "securing the region of tyranny" or "fighting the war on terror" than those victims of the 9/11 attacks. Hmm, and "attack" is a strange word. A good majority of folks out there think it was all a conspiracy. Honestly. There are no lack of sites showing videos of the tower's fall that illustrate explosions below the areas of fire and smoke, indicating what looks an awful like controlled demolition of high-rise buildings. Maybe the same guys that shot JFK or jacked up gas prices or cancelled "Arrested Development" have something to do with it.

    But, what does it matter now? Do you feel nestled any deeper into the collective safety of the legislative womb now than you did 5 years ago? Are you more cared for and free of medical/emotional/psychological complication? Ask that of the 70% of rescue workers and survivors of the WTC tragedy (not to mention the thousands of NYC residents) that suffer with rapid onset of cancer, lung disorders, PTSDs, and wrecked relationships. Secure? Might be nice just to start the day without coughing up blood or shaking off a cold sweat.

    Trust me, I do not make light of any of this. Humor is the only therapy I have. Without it, I would have fallen in front of a subway train long ago.

    So, it's five years later, and I ask you, what have you learned....about that day, the United States, our government, or yourself? Do you still have faith and hope, or have they vanished into nothingness like two towers that once anchored the city skyline?


    Remember and never forget.

    Ron Diorio, LaurenOlivier, and 41 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 5 more comments

    1. stefan0 105 months ago | reply

      good question ...

    2. Dom Ciancibelli 105 months ago | reply

      I still hold out hope and reach for understanding.

    3. JourneyToNoWhere 104 months ago | reply

      this picture looks like a water color painting to me :-)

    4. McF_photo [deleted] 104 months ago | reply

      V for Vendetta www.imdb.com/title/tt0434409/
      I don't know what I've learned apart from that I am powerless to stop my or anybody elses government. The only way out is to laugh about it, but that is exactly the way to lose even more control. How do I cope? By feeling good about the fact that my wife and I have decided never to have kids? Sure, no more Bach, Klimt, or Adams, but no more Hitler, Bush or bin Laden either! What else can we do, except laugh and look out for our friends and family.

    5. tinhart 104 months ago | reply

      Good questions drp... bully to you for asking them. I spent most of the five years since out of the country (ironically, I was on one of the first flights out of the U.S. from Seattle, headed to Tokyo via Vancouver B.C. just a couple days after 9/11). I spent nearly four years staring back at my country from another... and laughing (despite my anguish and occasional rage) at the failure to actually make change or do something, at a national/international level that would have a positive effect on the world... instead just more of the same. Insanity, insanity, insanity... laughter yes, the only sane response? Yes, but love too... love despite the insanity, in the face of it. That's what I see you doing with your work and your words drp... love. Never stop man, for your sake and ours.

    6. stino foto me :: Kristina Ann Olson 104 months ago | reply

      ok......here it goes.
      Like all the others before, my head fills with mixed emotions. What i hold onto during any crisis in my life or tragic events like this one reminds me to hope bigger. When you watch a great soccer match (for some football) ... there is defense and offense... each team must have both or they are not complete. Right now we live in a world of deception so we must every day combat that with hope of better days. Random acts of kindness for a stranger or help a loved one in need. For if we are to make a difference in this world we must try to be a solution not just a capsule of yelling at the ones that we disagree with... we must be the change.

      For example, when we want change for improving our planet we can not just protest and send letters off to our political leader yet we must start to carry a cup with us where ever we go instead of using plastic and we must use our cloth bags at the shops that we go to.

      Just like this tragety, we must carry out hope in better days so that we will become like a lite match in a dry forest... the hope will spread and the change will occur.

      Romans 5:3-5 "but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us."

      Do not allow disappointment. Allow hope. You have the power to choose!

    7. ♔ Georgie R 104 months ago | reply

      A very telling photograph. You have captured the spirit of this site.
      I wonder, do we, in the UK and US, like and accept the beliefs of those who crashed those 'planes more now than we did before? I guess not. Why then do we think that sending bombs and bullets to other countries will cause the people who live there like us more?

    8. Taylor Dundee 103 months ago | reply

      A haunting picture and a reminder of a tragic day never to be forgotten.

    9. Lycurgo C. Querido 103 months ago | reply

      Unfortunately people forget things. "They" do a really good job making people forget things here in the US. I remember right after the attaks how the gas prices went down and down everyday. I remember paying 89 cents/gallon and people were already talking about something else then the attaks.
      Great, great, great text, my friend.

    10. Danny B! 100 months ago | reply

      A poignant and powerful shot - the subtle colors are exquisite. I was a New Yorker at the time.

      What have I learned? I've learned that the world needs healing, more love, more compassion... We need leaders like MLK and Gandhi. Do they exist today?

      We also need art and humility and laughter. I've learned that it's important to remember.

      Thanks for the photo and for asking of us our opinion. Communication does help, when we take the time to listen.

    11. pingnews.com 98 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called War and Peace, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

    12. Christine Lebrasseur 96 months ago | reply

      Seen in a tag search. (?)

      You are invited to post this image to "The Best: BRAVO" group
      Please read the Rules before posting and don't forget to tag with BRAVO
      Invited with SIC

    13. hydrosexual 94 months ago | reply

      nice signature..

    14. Tarky7 89 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Raelians Rulez, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group. i don't think you are a cultist...but we luv your creations ne way..pls post...so we know what we aren't looking for. =^-^=

    15. alphachap 80 months ago | reply

      In the Seventh year, By ROGER COHEN
      The New York Times, Published: September 10, 2008

      "And in the seventh year after the fall, the dust and debris of the towers cleared. And it became plain at last what had been wrought."


    16. therealshawnshawn 72 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Political Art Now, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

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