Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Never Forget

Written back in September of '01.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
—George Santayana

"In light of the recent tragedies…" we've heard said over and over.

And then we tune out.

This is not to say that we haven't felt the significance of what it meant to watch silently as "the second plane" quickly wedged itself between the 60th and 70th floors. It doesn't mean we didn't wince deeply upon hearing of one man's charred skin slipping completely off in the helpful grip of a good Samaritan. And it doesn’t mean we didn't cover our mouths, or shake our heads, or mutter, "oh, shit," at the real-time horror of the sky falling, knowing that it didn't matter what we did — at that moment, with the word "LIVE" in the upper left-hand corner, thousands upon thousands of people were in the process of breathing their last breaths all at once.

Things have fallen apart.

It's today when you realize that almost nothing matters, especially skating.

To tie all this up into a digestible package of catch phrases, lies, and punctuation that cleverly relates to skateboarding seems less than fruitless and ultimately the act of a very stupid person.


Planes are now bombs, buildings are now rubble, people are now gone. And so we tune out; we turn away from the screen; we go sadly about our daily routines. Labor. Scrape. Ache. Working to keep the memory of those touched, all the while forgetting just enough so when you hear the first jet engine of the rest of your life, you don't freeze in your tracks, hunch your shoulders, and wait for what's next.

The marquee in front of the movie theater cheers, "U.S.A. Too Strong!"

Your professor lights a candle on her desk everyday before class.

Your mail carrier smiles and says, "god bless," as he hands you a glossy handful of direct mail advertisements.

Things fall further apart and skateboarding still seems trivial.

The weight of the unlit events that ticked away on the first Tuesday of this past September has radically shifted our future paths and will never be lifted from the collective shoulders of the human race. No matter how much we puff up with patriotism, petition publicly, peddle our wares, or tune out, it’s all on us now. Our new calling is to never forget how we felt during those first few seconds the world changed — hauling those memories with us wherever we go, whatever we do.

Of course, skateboarding isn't important, but today that's exactly what makes skateboarding matter more than ever. As long as you can go push around, you can also remember; and as long as you remember, others will never forget. —KW


Anonymous said...

here here

Anonymous said...

KW...certainly the best skate writer, or shall I just say writer, out there.

Well said.

.: Chris

highdesertsultan said...

thanks kev

11:11 said...

You rip,rock and rule.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wilkins, you speak sound words.

It seems important however that we not only not forget what happened but also why it happened. Has the USA finally understood why such cruel and senseless acts happened? Have the Bill Oreilys and Lou Dobbs figured it out? or shall we insist in portraying America as a super sweet sixteen party hoted in The Hills while Jessica Simpson and the Hilton sisters mud-wrestle America's Next Top Apprentice during the Martha Stewart episode produced by Kid Rock that you can download on crazyshit.com?

Have you seen that show Intervention? The United States needs an intervention. That is, if we are humble enough to acknowledge that in spite of the economic might of corporations, we're not doing well at all.

Never forget what, and never forget why.

-jb said...

very nice kev.

anonymous, the USA is not perfect, reality tv is ridiculous, but i will never understand justifying acts of terrorism with a "we had it coming" attitude.

MG said...

Beautiful commentary Kevin. I'm glad we had the opportunity to pedal through the park last night and reflect on the significance of the day.

And I'm with you Jeff... There is no justification for terroristic acts, period. If more people let love rule, and acted with humility and empathy, the world would be a better place.

r-fresh said...


Anonymous TOO said...

OK anonymous. Enlighten me. Fill me in. Why did it happen? Was it something I did to one of those 19 hate filled Arab airplane drivers? Am I profiling? Tough. By the way, I "do as well" as I allow myself to do. If I watch some reality TV show will I suddenly have an epiphany like you have had and realize I should be protesting Warren Buffet or Proctor and Gamble or some other Corporation? If only those guys would share a little with me---or whomever you decide should have it. Keep drinking the coolade buddy. I'm not soaking up any of your Guilt (Osama Bin) Laden "America Deserves It" Crap.
You need an intervention!!!

Doing quite well, thank you and never forgetting what happened on September 11th. Good writing, Mr. Wilkins.
Anonymous TOO

nacho_supreme said...

I wanted to reflect yesterday and this was there right when I needed it. Thanks Kev.

And as to anonymous and anonymous too, thanks for sharing.

My take? We all need to not only remember what happened but keep asking why and how. We need to keep asking the questions that make us uncomfortable and that don't yet have answers.

But when it comes down to it? We're all citizens of the WORLD and days like today should be used not to remind us of our wounds or remind us to hate, but to remind us to spread our love. The strength that got us back on our feet after that day came out of COMMUNITY and HUMANITY and LOVE.

Let's practice more of that today.

WhiteMachete said...

Well put, those few seconds you mention mean more than most. http://wellspentsports.blogspot.com/2007/09/some-thoughts-on-anniversary-of-911.html

DADAH said...

I like what you said Kev,

Anonymous said...

why did our own gov't attack its own people? oh yeah, money.

GL said...

Anonymous, who got the money you speak of and where did it come from and how much was it, exactly. You sound like you have the inside track on things overall. With that kind of knowledge you are very intimidating. I don't think I want to know you. You scare me. If you believe what you say, I suggest you inform somebody so they can hold those with the money or those who got the money accountable. Far Fetched? No more than your theory. Are they the same guys responsible for your last DUI, or your broken shoelace or that dog poop on your yard? Beeeeee Careful, they're everywhere and they are watching you right now.

nacho_supreme said...

gl -
mr. anonymous isnt the only one with a theory. there are bucketloads of scary truths and unanswered questions out there if you dig beyond the topsoil. Not that it prompts me to draw any concrete conclusions one way or another. but it sure as shit aint black and white. Just sayin'.

r-fresh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kanten said...

Well said Kevin...wish we could have hooked up before the show...let me know when your in SD again.