I'll Never Write a Novel

The Memoir of a Personal Essayist OR Confessions of a Theatre Widow

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tell this Story

Dear CNN,
Did I hear correctly that to honor the five year anniversary of 9/11 you intend to run your coverage as it happened on September 11, 2001? Really? I have heard this enough to believe it's true, and I think you should know, I am appalled.

This is a day to remember, not a day to relive. It is one of the darkest hours in our collective history, so deeply disturbing. Instead of casting a beautiful light on the tragedy, you have chosen, as I am not surprised, to go for shock factor. You will get viewers whose morbid fascination fuels them. That does not mean that the people watching are wrong or disturbed. But instead of using this opportunity to honor the people who were lost, the heroes that emerged, or even to discuss the world events the surround this, you choose to bury us all in the mire again.

And, aren't you journalists? What a lazy approach to "reporting." You couldn't muster a few commentators and reporters to tell the story. I don't object to you using the footage to illustrate the tragedy, but don't call your re-run journalism.

Please tell the story of September 11. Please tell it all day long. We can never forget this horrible, awful day. We can never forget the spectacular lives lost. We must remember that this happened and the countless lives it touched. But do not make those still suffering repeat the experience and horror.

Tell the story of September 11. It's a story still being told in the lives of those who survived, those who mourn and those who are trying to change the world for the better. Really tell this story. Don't cheat this by making it the story of CNN on that day. Be journalists and find out how this story still lives today.

We can always celebrate the lives lost and the love that carries on.

We can never forget.