I'm writing another "Friday 5," but as I completed the story about accidentally pushing my mom off a cliff at Canyon Lake, it occurred to me that this might not be the week for it. Instead, here are a few really good things about 9/11 I've read or watched recently. Antidotes to it, really. They lean Arizona-ward, coverage-wise, but no matter where you're from, please do share others in the comments. The more we read and learn about each other's experiences -- any experiences, really -- the further away from terror we are.
1. Arizona teacher's life forever changed by 9/11
The local-guy angle, but as they all are, so much more. He lost someone. He comforted and was comforted. He sat, surrounded by thousands of raised voices, at the first World Series ever played in the state of Arizona, a short while later. Arizona won, but that was secondary. The soul of America, as he says, came out then. This guy is good people.
2. The Second Day
A few years ago, Brook Peters decided he would make a film about September 11 and its aftermath to give voice to a group of people no one had heard from much. He started filming his documentary, and managed to gain national and international coverage.
And then he turned 12.
He's 14 now, and this guy is pretty amazing. You can watch the whole film for $3.99, but you definitely should at least watch the trailer.
3. Surviving the Fall
If you haven't read "The Falling Man," Tom Junod's piece for Esquire, you should. The Falling Man. You know the photo. In the first essay, he tells about the search for the man. In "Surviving," he puts him to rest, in a way. Difficult, intimate and well done.
4. The mothers who found forgiveness, friendship
Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi are both mothers who have lost sons. Rodriguez lost her son in the World Trade Center attacks; el-Wafi's son was involved in the attacks and is currently serving a life sentence. They are friends. I really don't know how they do it -- either of them. This is amazing. They are amazing. Watch.
5. Gilbert, and "Mesa - the day before the 9/11 attack"
Please, especially if you're in the area, do read about and think about attending some of the memorial activities. Gilbert's Week of Tribute is wrapping up, concluding a week of activities to memorialize and commemorate not only those directly involved in 9/11, but all of our ties to community and family. There's a great "Preserving Family" event Saturday at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve (as long as it doesn't rain), with family activities galore, which I'll be trying to make. I've heard on good authority that solar telescopes might be out for public use too. Also, they'll have donuts!
Check here for more activities, and mostly, just have a good weekend with your family.
Also, Mesa. In Mesa, like everywhere, the world didn't stop spinning on 9/11. Stuff -- little and big -- didn't stop happening. It just seemed that way. Good story.
OK, so I guess I sneaked in an extra one there. I like these, though. Check 'em out if you haven't. Let me know what inspires you. And have a good weekend.