Another 9/11

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. Continue reading “Another 9/11”



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. Continue reading “9/11”


You might not know this, but my undergraduate degree (from American University in Washington, D.C.)  is in international studies with a focus on communications.

It’s not a concrete degree as, say, a business degree or a teaching degree. But it aligned with my interests and gave me a broad perspective on our world, combining my love of foreign policy/international relations, politics and communications. Though I didn’t end up working for the State Department as a foreign service officer (as I often envisioned) I never stopped being passionate about  these things. In fact, the older I get,  I’ve found myself getting more and more analytical about world affairs and our civilian role in them.

And while I don’t claim to be an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, as an American who has done her fair share of reading in and out of school and watched 9/11 unfold before her eyes while on an Amtrak train, I felt compelled to put some of my thoughts down on paper today. Continue reading “USA! USA!”

Repost: That Sunny September Day

I know 9/11 means so many things to so many people, and like everyone else, I have my own story to share.

It’s hard to believe 8 years ago today I was sleeping on a 6 a.m. D.C.-N.Y.C.-bound train and woke to hear the Amtrak attendant yelling, “Look out your windows! The World Trade Center is on fire!” By the time we arrived at Penn Station 10 minutes later, the second tower had been hit, and the world had changed.

Today, I’m remembering everyone loved and lost on this day. I’m thinking of their families who survive them, and of my NEA family who made that most unbearable day “bearable.”

Since my blog was pretty new last year on the seventh anniversary of 9/11, I thought I’d do a repost on this, the eighth anniversary. (Long-time readers, I hope you don’t mind my lack of creativity today …)

Click here to read “That Sunny September Day.”

That Sunny September Day …

Some people deal with stress, tragedy, heart-aches, loss of loved ones, job misery, etc. by not eating.

Not me. Food has always been on my mind. My dad even says, “Lis, you were born hungry!”

September 11, 2001 was probably the only day in my entire life I did not have food on the brain.

At all.

No, I didn’t lose anyone that I knew that day, but 9/11 hit me personally on several accounts. That morning, I was on a 6:00 a.m. N.Y.C.-bound Amtrak train from D.C. for a work event so I ended up in New York that day.

(I was a a grad student who has just begun an internship at the National Education Association two weeks prior, and our Read Across America kick-off and photo shoot with Garth Brooks was set for September 11 in NYC).

I fell asleep reading Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six (ironically about terrorism) in about Delaware or so, so I’d been asleep a while.

A little before 9 a.m. the conductor woke me (and others) up by yelling, “Oh my god, the World Trade Center is on fire!” I looked to my right and sure enough, there was the New York skyline I, being a Jersey girl, grew up with … but something was definitely wrong.

From our vantage point, the north tower looked as though a giant, gaping hole had been carved our of one side … or like a huge hunk of metal was hanging. We couldn’t tell from that far away.

On the train, it was chaos as people were craning their necks to get a look, saying they thought it was a small charter plane that had crashed (But why not into the river, I’d wondered). No one knew anything.

By the time we got to Penn Station, the second tower had been hit and America was officially under attack. Continue reading “That Sunny September Day …”