from New York Times archive

Friday, September 11, 2020 (Nine-Eleven)

Today, we remember one of those remarkable events that within us are a lifelong “memory series”. This one begins exactly at the moment we became aware of airplanes attacking New York’s Twin Towers. We’ve frozen that moment in our memory banks. For me, living in Los Angeles and early in the morning talking with a close friend, I learned that on-the-spot video had captured the collapsings of New York’s tallest buildings. Those moments, of sudden awareness and my after-the-fact witnessing on TV, and the bravery of passengers on American Airlines 77, are etched in my memory and still painful.

Associated experiences over many years also are well brain-etched. There are instants of murderings that took away America’s JFK, RFK, and MLK. I remember MM’s sudden death, the OJ trial’s oddly-effective glove-defense, the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, and the mass shootings that killed many gathered at school and in public events.

My earliest etched-memory is of a very old 1949 event, when three-year-old Kathy Fiscus fell into a narrow well in San Marino, CA. The newspapers for days reported on rescue attempts, all failed. Then a little girl myself, that locked me into a lifelong fear of old wells hiding in open areas. Even today, while riding horseback and occasionally bushwacking across natural landscapes, I fear evidence of previous dwellers and undiscovered wells.

We are social beings who participate in smallish family and work-related groups. We’re also highly connected to the whole human social system. In essence, what happens to any of us impacts all of us. After nine-eleven, Americans became highly aware of what is happening worldwide. A current international case in point is the terrible murdering of Jamal Khashoggi–a shocking social travesty, it is bolstering an humane outcry for social justice.

Dear Friends: Remembering events, implications, feelings, and lessons-learned. Diana

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