Well, I'm just about to hang up the camera strap after a long day of contributing to International "Media Reminding People of the Worst Experience of Their Lives" Day.
Even though I hate that the coverage brings the pain back all over again... The fact that time and distance means that 9/11 commemorations are now something routinely followed by small talk, lukewarm punch, and stale cookies feels wrong, too.
I guess I feel like punch 'n' cookies is just the beginning of a downward slide toward meaningless gestures of remembrance. Thirty years from now, journalists who haven't been born yet will be eyeing the gray-haired folks, trying to discern who might be an actual survivor in the thinning crowd. Fifty years from now, very old men in firefighters' dress uniforms will be crowing about patriotism and unity and how "We Musn't Forget" as high schoolers in itchy marching band uniforms fidget their way through underattended memorial services. A hundred years from now, Patriots Day (or whatever it will be called) will probably be marked by a day off school and holiday sales at the mall.
It all makes me feel a little nauseous, but maybe that's just apple juice 'n' chocolate chip cookie I feel churning in my stomach.