Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
I live near Boston, Mass., and was 5 miles away when the Marathon bombings happened. In 1969Â-1970, I watched the World Trade Towers being built from a vantage point across the street but never saw them completed and now never will.
It’s been hard to concentrate on much this past week leading up to September 11th except where we were, what we were doing... when the United States was attacked. I played this scene a few times before in my life. Where were you when John F. Kennedy was shot, when Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot, when Bobby Kennedy was shot. Where were you when the Vietnam War ended?
A lot of songs have September in the title, such as Neil Diamond’s “September Morn” (co-written with Gilbert Bécaud), Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Sweet September Morning,” and Frank Sentra’s “September Song," and others have September in the lyrics, such as one of the great rock-and-roll hits, Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” (co-written with Martin Quittenton), harkening back to those days of summer love when the school bells tolled us back to the classroom.
September, especially in New England and other northern states, is a transition month. The sun seems to want to go further west, barely peeking over the distant hills. The sunsets become more beautiful as the Montreal Express brings a chill to the air and leaves go from green to brown to gone.
On August 15, 1973, the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam ended. It was the first time during my life that I neither lived under the threat of war nor in a country involved in war. Born in one of the “Atomic Cities” of America just after WWII and too young to remember the short span between WWII and Korea, I watched my dad go to work to do things he never talked about. Then almost from the time I can remember, there was Vietnam coming up close and personal. On April 26, 1980, President Carter reported the use of six U.S. transport planes and eight helicopters in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran, and ever since that date the U.S. has been at war or in a “conflict.” I had thought, or at least hoped, on that August morning when a friend woke me up to tell me the Vietnam War had ended, that war was finally over in my lifetime. Now all I can do is pray it will be over in my granddaughter’s lifetime and hope for the best.
There are many reasons for my distaste for violence of any kind in the movies or video games. To me, violence is real. I have seen it, not just on the TV or the BIG screen, but at a plant in Tennessee, at a reservation known as Wounded Knee in South Dakota, and now in the eyes of dying children in Syria.
I was never a big fan of September, and for the last 12 years I have been given more reasons to wish the month well and goodbye.