I had no idea until I was reading some blog posts and articles written yesterday how much some (many? most?) New Yorkers resent that non-New Yorkers think they know what New York was going through in September 2001. That it was their tragedy, their suffering, their pain – and God knows, their city endured physical and emotional things that the rest of us did not. No, I wasn’t there, I didn’t lose friends and loved ones in the towers, I didn’t have my lungs and body destroyed by toxins.
New York suffered terribly. You own a very different, deeper pain than the rest of the country. The people at the Pentagon suffered – but not the way a whole city did. The people on Flight 93 died, but the planes didn’t slam into building full of people in the heart of a city.
I get all that. But I’m both hurt and resentful and then guilty for being mad at New Yorkers for believing this is theirs only. I didn’t lose a spouse or parent or child. But I know people who did lose them. Many people in the northeast corridor know someone who suffered a loss or who came out to help with rescue efforts. Or who knew someone on one of the planes. I did.
But we are not New Yorkers. Our home city wasn’t attacked. We weren’t part of the group that banded together to get through the horrible time. We were just people who saw the images on TV over and over, heard the words, grieved in our own ways, helped where we could. The city of Boston grieved and had its own collective guilt because the planes had left from our airport.
New York had it the worst of all. I get that. I don’t want to horn in on your anger and loss and pain and solidarity and fortitude. But please, New Yorkers, do not think that those of us beyond your boroughs don’t feel, don’t remember, don’t care. We are Americans and we do, even if you resent us for doing so.
I’m so sorry for your loss of innocence and lives. I’m so sorry for the destruction of the indestructible. I’m so sorry for your pain and sadness and fear.
But I’m still routing for the Red Sox.