September 11, 2006

We Lived 1,776 Miles from Ground Zero

I'm normally allergic to disaster anniversaries. But this one, my first in LA, made me wonder.

On Sept. 11, 2001, people in Denver, Colorado, were pissed off. Not so much at terrorists or Muslims or suicide bombers. But at Tower Records for not opening. At malls for closing early. At TV and radio for pre-empting their shows.

Coloradans felt detached from those tragic events. One even asked, "What does New York have to with me?" Coast vs. mountain, blue state vs. red, world destination vs. regional hub: no matter the scale, it's a valid question.

I wonder if Los Angeles would have felt the same. We live father from Ground Zero now, 2,790 miles. But in this fellow global city, would Californians seem less detached?

The mileage from the World Trade Center to our old Denver home, door to door, is the same as the year of American independence. Interesting. Entirely coincidental and meaningless, but interesting.

1 comment:

Miles said...

As an LA resident at the time (and for most of my life), I can tell you categorically that people all over LA felt it. They felt it deeply.

We awoke to the news, we sat in front of our TVs and computers and we were told that dozens of airplanes were still in the air, unreachable and many of them heading toward California. For the most part, the entire city shut down, as it does after an earthquake, except for emergency services. The only things in the air actually were police and military helicopters and military jets.

It was unsettling. Very unsettling.