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?