How 9/11 Entered My Life
I did not know any of the victims personally who were killed on that day. My immediate thoughts went to my sister, who was living outside Manhattan and whose husband worked very close to the Towers. It was hours before I could get in touch with anyone to find out that he was safe-out of the office, and out of danger on that fateful Tuesday morning. I can only try to imagine how terrified every person who had a relative in the World Trace Centers or on the planes must have been. Truth be told, none of us can come close to comprehending the horror these people felt on a day that is etched in our consciousness forever. A day, like the day President Kennedy was shot, when all Americans remember exactly where they were and what they were doing.
For me, as the stories unfolded, It wasn’t until the following weekend that the aftershock hit close to home. My other dear sister was getting married. The day she had dreamed of as a little girl, would be different than she had scripted in her mind. As we traveled to New Jersey, the smell of the smoking rubble slowly made its way into the car until it overpowered us all. The air was cloying, thick, the grey sky ominous. We could get small snapshots of the city through our car window and the visuals are sketched forever in my brain. The huge hole in the skyline reflecting the hole left in our hearts.
What should have been a weekend of joy for my father, was filled with sadness. He, and many of his friends, spent much of the weekend at funerals . The beautiful area where I spent my childhood lost many people at Ground Zero and the heavy sadness and grief that filled the town is something that still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it. Men whom I had looked up to as the pillars of strength in our community were overcome with a sense of loss and tragedy. We all have our own perspective and experience from 9/11- one of the most dramatic chapters in our history. I can only hope that the memories of the event which brought out the best in what the United States has to offer will ignite this country to get back on track, come together, and help America live up to its full potential.
Post Script-After watching 60 Minutes and Scott Pelley’s interview, I wanted to add this: Dr. Benjamin Luft has recorded a heart wrenching oral history of, to date, 137 first responders: 911 Responders Remember. I urge you to visit the site and support the project in any way you can. * This is a repost of an earlier writing, the images that continue in my mind’s eye as I think of the 9/11 anniversary.*