Every year when the calendar flips to September I feel overwhelmed by a sense of dread. What used to be a hopeful month: school starting, the Jewish New Year, apple picking, football and cocoa, cider and donuts, my siblings’ birthdays, my birthday looming in early October … became tainted on that sunny September day in 2001.
I’ve written about my personal 9/11 story here and here, yet my story (of being in NYC that day) is one of millions. It’s an American story. We were all affected in one way or another. It’s our generation’s Pearl Harbor. It’s what fundamentally changed how we live, the freedoms we took for granted.
So today … today I remember. Remember those whose lives were tragically taken away much too soon and the families left to grieve them.
I remember the innocence of 9/10/01, the agony of 9/11/01,the patriotism and American pride of 9/12/01 and the hope that mingled with utter sadness as the dust settled in the days and weeks after.
I remember the sheer disbelief as my Acela train pulled out of NYC on 9/12/01 seeing the city covered in a blanket of smoke, debris and who knows what. And I remember the pit in my stomach driving past the Pentagon on the bus each morning on my way to work, seeing that gaping hole that symbolized so much more.
For a while there, we were all just Americans. Not Republicans, not Democrats, not Libertarians or Independents or anything else. We were Americans. Forever changed.
Never forget. Never forgotten.