In Panhandle Professional Writers we strive to keep our blog free of religious and political slants. We are people of vastly varied backgrounds and represent the same diversity of viewpoints as are represented in any average American city. But today is one of those days it can’t be avoided. So I will keep the comments brief and relevant to writing.
When I think of this tragic day I have trouble referring to it as 911. The meaning of what took place on this day somehow loses its importance to me. September 11, 2001 however, is a date I hope the world remembers forever.
For me it’s like November 22, 1963 the date of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Older Americans can add to these memories dates such as December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor day, or the October, 1929 crash of Wall Street. All these are important dates in American history. Days we personally remember exactly where we were and what we were doing at the time.
As writers, we have an unspoken obligation to our readers. Whether you write nonfiction or fiction; if you are writing a story taking place during that time and want to include this date as part of the back drop or in the viewpoint of your characters, or simply to write an account of that day from your own perspective, please remember this: You can put your character’s personal slant to the subject in fiction, but the account of historical events should be accurate.
Do your research, don’t count on personal memory. Even the best of us can confuse the details, especially when recalling an event that held such extreme emotion for all Americans. So do the research to get the facts right. Your words will last forever. There are many young readers throughout the world who will not have an understanding of that day. Their knowledge will be gleaned from what history books and even fiction set in that time period tells them.
This is how I intend to honor the memory of all who lost their lives on that day, by accurately depicting the events and giving voice to all those who lost theirs on that tragic date.
How will you, as a writer, memorialize September 11, 2001?
*Photo courtesy USAfederalholiday.com