Not sure why I’m thinking about 9/11 more today than in past anniversaries of those events. Maybe it’s because it dawned on me this morning that some of our readers were the same age as my 10-year-old son is now when it happened. Regardless I found memories of what happened that day starting to replay themselves in my mind as I swam through traffic.
I was at home in Somerville on my way to the Dig when I started seeing the reports on TV. It was a Tuesday and back then we wrapped up the paper late into the night on Monday so I wasn’t in any rush to get in. I called home and talked to my parents in NYC who live about half a mile away from the towers. No one answered at first but eventually I got through. They were fine and at that point the buildings were still standing.
I called into the office and one of our sales guys (Craig Kapilow) answered. He was audibly shaken as well as he was also from NYC and had family there. I asked if anyone else was at the office. He said everyone was heading home. So I stayed at home and continued to watch history unfold. The internet wasn’t what it is now and TV and web news were essentially on the same page.
The issue of the Dig (then called Boston’s Weekly Dig) that was coming out that Wednesday 9/12 had a cover that I drew on it for the Freedom Rally. Clearly no mention of the events were in the issue because we had already gone to print so for that week we had a pair of stoned cops on our cover. Not the worst thing really.
We had a booth setup at the rally. I had made a tall vertical Japanese samurai style banner promoting my relatively new comic strip Secret Asian Man that I was going to walk around with. I remember debating whether or not to go at all and hearing talk about how overall attendance was going to be down because people wouldn’t be in the mood to celebrate weed in light of what happened. Well, I went and all those projections were wrong. Thousands showed up and there was plenty of talk about 9/11 and the mood of the rally had a very unified feel to it. And it was a nice day to be outside.
The following week I drew another cover that directly addressed how I was feeling about 9/11. I felt like I was watching from a distance and found myself thinking a lot about my family at home. Of course offsetting the whole thing was the fact that it was our Somerville Comix Festival issue so that was kind of weird.
A lot has happened/nothing has changed since then and I really don’t care to hear anyone’s political views on the matter. I guess I just needed to get this off my chest and add it to the millions of other similar posts. Sometimes it feels good to belong to a large group. It helps us remember how similar we all are.