It's a weekend of holidays. This year in China, Teachers' Day is September 10. Mid-Autumn Festival is September 12. But this post is concerned with the day in between: September 11.
Back in the U.S.A., you are all flooded with media memories of the day. I don't have to be there to know that the coverage of the 10th anniversary will be plastered all over newspapers, magazines, TV, and the Internet. Here in China, far from the media storm, I could very easily go through the day without even realizing what it was until I looked at the calendar.
But I did look at the calendar, and I've been watching the approach of September 11, and here's why. On September 10, 2001, we were unknowingly on the brink of a tragedy that would change life for all Americans. In little ways (airport security) and big ways (two complicated wars), America hasn't been the same since September 11. In fact, on the afternoon of September 11, 2001, I distinctly remember thinking that "everything is going to change," and in some ways, it has.
I'm typing this on September 10, 2011. Most of me thinks nothing of this, but about 1% of me thinks -- "What if we are on the brink of another game-changer? What if there's an anniversary attack?" It would be strange and sad to be 6,500 miles away if anything weird happens in America tomorrow.
And those are my thoughts on the eve of the 10th anniversary of September 11.