I had to leave the World Trade Center this morning.
I was disgusted that the conspiracy-theory nutjobs were crawling everywhere like the rats they are. But I was even more disturbed at the media leaches crawling around them. I wanted to go up to some of my media colleagues with their pens cocked and ready and tell them to turn around: The story isn’t a few wackos who come because you and your cameras and notebooks are here, you fools! The story is over there, in the hole that still haunts us. The story is about the families and about the heroes and about the memories and about that hole. The story is even about WTC 7, now rising above the void, shining in a sky as bright as that five years ago today. The story is about the crowd of people — more than I’ve seen in recent years — who came to pay their respect. The story is not about these disrespectful loons, who got into shouting matches, drawing more cameras to them.
I was also bothered standing behind two women who were hugging and crying and in front of them were six photographers snapping eagerly, looking for a drop of human emotion to suck up. Oh, I have been there, too, calling the bereaved to find a photo of the dearly departed to share with the world. I’m not proud of that. Today, though, people can tell their own stories, thank goodness.
When I came into the WTC PATH a few minutes earlier than I did five years ago, I saw the temporary reflecting pool and the honor guard of police, fire, and responders from all quarters and it got to me. In the post below, which I wrote last night, I thought I was a bit more distant. But these people bring it back. Then I came up the stairs, right where I left the towers five years ago, and I saw the lunatics lined up with their conspiracy T-shirt uniforms and their offensive, idiotic banners and I got angry.
I was angry at the wrong people, just as they are. We all need to be angry at the people who murdered our neighbors that day.