I want to take a moment out today to reflect on September 11, 2001. It is hard to believe it is the ten year anniversary of the day that changed our lives, and America, forever. A day where I could do nothing more but sit in front of that damned TV screen and sob until I ran dry holding onto my husband and our little dog at the time, Sammi. There are key things I remember...my brother-in-law calling me early that morning unable to get the words out about what happened and then finally saying "Turn on the TV." My Uncle having to, on that same day, put my grandfather into the hospital for the last time. My Uncle said Papa looked up at the TV in his room, this survivor of depression...this World War 2 hero...father and grandfather...gone through my Nana's terrible fight with cancer and his own long, hard battle with it himself and saying "There is something wrong with the world." An even difficult day for my Uncle to bear. My friend Angela calling and saying "This is the worst thing that has ever happened to our country" as we both sobbed together over the line. Frantically trying to reach my father and his wife who were on a business trip in Europe. But the one that strikes close to home...when I phoned my mother. At the time she was getting her degree and I knew she was getting ready for an early class and would have not had the news on. I did not want her being on campus as things were so uncertain at that moment and terrifying. They had indeed closed the school later that morning. When I told her she knew immediately who was responsible. She was a recently retired flight attendant for United Airlines. And one of her regular flight routes had been....Flight 93. Every time I think about this, I get a chill. And I am so grateful that she was not on that flight. But my heart has a permanent crack in it for the lives that were lost and the lives that were directly impacted by it. And for all of us who will live with this terrible thing our entire lives; and how nothing has been the same since. What I wish we could recapture sometimes is the surge of strength that came about after the towers fell. There was a sense of compassion, unity and love that came out of this horrible, devastating nightmare. Sometimes I fear this has faded away too much.
Each year since the towers fell most of the Sunday comic strip artists participate in a tribute to 9-11. There were a lot of good ones this morning. But one of my favorites was from Home and Away. The kids ask their Dad "So what happened when the towers fell?" and the Dad says "Well...let's just say millions of towers immediately rose up." Below it was a sketch of firemen, paramedics, police, nurses, military and people like you and I.
We are still trying to heal.