I did not know a single person who was personally affected by September 11th. Not directly, anyway. But that day forever changed me in ways I cannot express because I don’t think I understand it entirely, myself.
At work that Tuesday morning, I knew nothing about the
It seemed that my world tipped somewhat that day, over the course of the day, and fear became a part of my being. As a country we have been quite insulated from all the wars and atrocities happening all over the world. It always happened somewhere else. I remember seeing the pictures on the news of
Later, when we heard the Pentagon had been hit by another plane, and that yet one more plane had crashed in
Both of my kids were in high school, both already there for the day. I wanted so badly to just go home, get them from school and take them with me. I wanted to be close, to be grateful I knew where my children were, and to just keep them with me. But I stayed, did my job, and went home later in the day as I usually did.
It seemed so strange to me that the world was still turning, that it hadn’t shifted from its axis just a bit that day that would forever put a wobble into our existence as human beings.
I never wanted to raise my kids in a world where I had to worry about terrorism inside our own country. It was inevitable that it would come here and I suppose I was naïve about that. But I grew up in an entirely different world, one without knowledge of extremism, incredible hatred and fear. And as I turned on the TV that evening and started to see the pictures, I recognized some of what I was seeing. It was gray. All the people, the buildings, the sky, the streets. Gray. It wasn’t somewhere else anymore, it was here and it will be a part of our lives now, forever.
There were many people who died that day. People going about their business, never expecting anything unusual would happen. Many others died trying to save the people who simply went to work. Still more worked so long and so selflessly to find survivors and then to find remains, something, to give back to the families who still had such terrible emptiness with not even a body to bury.
I mourn them, I salute them, and I will never forget them.
For myself and our country, I cannot help but weep for the loss of our innocence.