Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

The question that was asked all day today...
10 years later and I still can barely look at photos or watch video footage about that morning. 
I remember it so clearly... waking up too early for school... hearing my mom running into the house after her night shift at the hospital, screaming... watching the second plane crash into the second tower... first building fall on tv... having to hear about the second one falling on the radio on the way to school.  I remember running to my journalism class with tears non-stop falling even though I did not even feel like I was crying, feeling numb, wearing my I <3 NY tee shirt and light blue dickies.  Watching all day in every class... the suffering... the destruction... the pain of others... Peter Jennings at the desk, his tie slowly coming loose, pen marks all over his hands... reporting and reporting and reporting... stories and stories... My mom calling my grandfather in Queens, her cousin Danny at the Pentagon, my aunt who had to walk home to New Jersey from her high rise office in Manhattan... spending the day in my parent's bed watching television, watching American forces attack in the night... waiting to hear Peter say something better.

I have a major attachment to New York.  My parents are from there.  My grandfather lives there still.  I remember seeing the towers... the way I remember them most vividly is at night... there was no skyline like the New York City skyline... I looked up at them one night on a visit when I was 14 years old and saw the full moon shining bright, perfectly centered between the World Trade Center towers which were glowing on their own against the black, starless sky.  Who needs stars in a city where the buildings are the stars on their own?  It took my breath away seeing them like that and I never forgot it...

10 years after 9.11.2001 I am healthy and happy.  I no longer wear dickies or write for a newspaper.  I am a wife and a mom.  I have traveled and experienced more of the world than I ever would have thought.  I am blessed and do not take it for granted.  I do not forget that there are children born without a parent.  There are sons and daughters and husbands and wives that will never be home.  There will be people that are forever scarred by what they saw and experienced that day.  I will continue to love New York and know that the skyline will never be the same, but it will still shine on in the night.

It is amazing that people can be so compassionate even in a world with so much pain and devastation.  In Sacramento there were several commemorative events going on.  We went to the display at Cal Expo...
"Empty Shoes"  2790 pairs of empty shoes... shoes of every size, type... representing those that lost their lives that day.










It hurt to explain what this was all about to my 4 year old, but life isn't always what you expect or hope for it to be.  I think about shoes often, this is a very different perspective on them... All we can continue to do is be good and live life to the fullest and remember that there are those who will never be forgotten...

I also had the victims of the Japanese tsunami from 6 months ago.


Where were you on September, 1, 2001?

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this. I had wanted to see the exhibit...but taking three kids who wouldn't get it, didn't seem like the best use of my time. I'm happy you posted these photos. It is unbearable to think about, isn't it?

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  2. wow. thank you for such a rich and moving post.

    it hasn't been hard to keep myself busy and it's what i do best when i'm trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings.

    9/11 always stirs up way too many emotions including every last detail of that day and the subsequent end of everything i thought i knew about "livin' in the usa..."

    thanks for a powerful and moving blog post.

    peace and love,

    audrey

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