Ten years later, I still can’t watch 9/11 footage without crying.

I don’t know if it’s because I was there in NYC on 9/11 and returned to D.C. on 9/12 …(one hell-pit to another) or if it’s simply because I’m an American and, collectively, we hurt.

Whatever the case, as September marches along, I always feel anxious until that day passes. It’s a heightened sense of anxiety, more so than any other time of the year. And can’t help it. I feel bad for people with birthdays and anniversaries on that date; it’s forever seared in our minds as a day of tragedy and tremendous loss. Of life, of course … but also of our innocence. So much has been written about this loss of innocence in the past decade that it would be almost cliché to bring it up here … but we really were shaken to the core on 9/11.

On Monday, we drove through Somerset County in Pennsylvania (where Shanksville is) and there were signs for the 9/11 Memorial. We didn’t stop (it was pouring and with Maya asleep we needed to keep going) but did get a guide-book at a rest stop that had the biographies of all the passengers and crew who died aboard Flight 93. Reading their bios gave us the chills … but also gave them life in a way. I knew who Todd Beamer was … but didn’t know the names of the others on board.

It broke my heart to see how many of the victims were in their early 30s, like me, their lives ahead of them. In fact, one of the passengers was pregnant with her first baby.

So in their memory, and in the memory of the countless people whose lives were touched (or shattered) on 9/11 … I will be keeping them close in mind.

This weekend, there will be tons of media coverage reminding us of that crystal-clear, blue-skied day that changed the world as we know it. I will be crying. I’m sure many of us will be, as we recall what was and what is.

How about you? How will you commemorate 9/11? Where were you when the towers were hit, when the Pentagon was hit, when the plane went down in Pennsylvania?


3 thoughts on “9/11

  1. I was at work just a couple of miles outside Manhattan when the planes hit because I had the 8am shift that day. At some point, they sent us home – maybe around 10am. I still lived w/my parents, so I sat in the living room with them (also sent home from work) and watched the news all day in complete disbelief with tear-filled eyes. It was a day unlike any other I’ve had (and hope to never experience again). For me, still living in the same town, it’s all still very raw. I see the skyline every day and there isn’t a single time that I don’t look downtown and miss the building. The new one is about halfway up and I know that when it’s done, I’ll look at it and still think about the old ones.

    My job is having a memorial event on Monday. I’m having my students read several first-hand articles over the weekend so they get perspective from those who were there. Monday we’re going to watch a TV special about it and then go to the memorial. We have to remember that we’re vulnerable, still, and that life is precious.

  2. I loved your post on this subject, Candice–meant to comment on your blog!!! I know what you mean … living in DC (and working a block from the White House) I felt a certain level of heightened anxiety that I don’t know if it could be matched by anyone outside the NY or DC areas. I’ll never forget pulling away on the train and seeing the skyline covered in billowing smoke the next day … and I know it stayed that way for a long time. That kind of dust never really settles. 😦 I can’t imagine seeing the skyline every day — I know whenever I’d go home to NJ though it would crush me to see that gaping spot in the skyline. That’s wonderful you’re going to the memorial. I’d definitely like to go the next time I am in NYC. Life IS precious, that’s for sure.

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