The weight: They have almost

The weight
: They have almost finished removing 1.6 million tons of debris from the World Trade Center. By the end of the month, the Times reports, it will all be gone. All that will be left will be the hole.

And the memory.

I fear the memory is beginning to fade. I fear it in me.

I went walking to the bookstore the other day; I do that when I need to get out and think. There, I found the book collection of the New York Times’ profiles of the victims of September — Portraits: 9/11/01.

I was shocked at the size of it and the weight of it. The dimensions of the book are big: every page is large and there are more than 500 pages. And this is not even a complete memorial to the victims; it is only the portraits published before February. There are even more to be written, which will be included in the next edition, an even bigger book.

I don’t know why I was so shocked at the size. Somehow, in my mind’s scale, I thought this book would be smaller. I wonder whether this is a symptom of my memory, fading.

Of course, the book is huge. The loss is huge. Thousands of lives gone. Thousands upon thousands of lives scarred.

I bought the book and finally read the portrait of my neighbor who died. It returned me to September.

If you, too, feel your memory fading, if 9.11 starts to look smaller behind you, I urge you to go to the bookstore and pick up the Times’ book, just pick it up.

Feel the weight of the grief.

Stands for F’ing Bloody Idiots
: I haven’t had a fresh reason to be mad at the FBI in, oh, at least a week. But here’s a new reason:

Two months before the suicide hijackings, an FBI agent in Arizona alerted Washington headquarters that several Middle Easterners were training at a U.S. aviation school and recommended contacting other schools nationwide where Arabs might be studying, law enforcement officials said.

The FBI sent the intelligence to its terrorism experts in Washington and New York for analysis and had begun discussing conducting a nationwide canvass of flight schools when the Sept. 11 tragedies occurred, officials told The Associated Press.

: Ditto airport security screeners: idiots. From Cleveland Live:

A screening machine detected explosives in a carry-on bag at a security checkpoint at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Friday, and authorities closed two concourses for 2 1/2 hours, officials said.

Airport Commissioner Fred Szabo said screeners were unable to find the bag and he could not rule out the possibility that the bag and the person carrying it got on a departing flight before the concourses were closed.


: First the NY Times killed its Nation Challenged post-9.11 section, but they said they’d keep updating the section online. Now, quietly, they’ve stopped updating.