Friday, September 11, 2009

We Will Always Remember

The events of September 11th, 2001 were very, very real to me. I was here in Washington, DC when it happened. In fact, for a few terrifying minutes that morning, my colleagues at the time and I thought that the final airplane was headed straight toward us. Working in a building located only three blocks from the White House, we thought it was entirely within the realm of possibility that we could be in striking distance. That didn't happen, as we all know, and I became one of the "lucky" ones: my immediate loved ones and I were safe, and I didn't personally know a single person out of the thousands who died. Therefore, I don't claim to have any special "rights" to that day, but it does surprise me how well, over the past eight years, I've been able to tamp down the feelings that surround my recollection.

Well, those feelings all came rushing back today, when I turned on the TV to watch some of the memorials. I'm not sure exactly what triggered it - the moments of silence observed at the times when each plane crashed; the sight of the elderly couple standing in the rain at the NYC memorial service, huddled together under their umbrellas; or the words of the survivors as they read off the names of victims and offered their own personal statements of love and grief. Whatever it was, I found myself, suddenly, sobbing.

As long ago as that day seems, once you let yourself remember what it felt like, this life-changing event once again becomes all too real.

In light of this, it was with a touch of -- I'm not sure, sadness? Depression? Confusion? -- that I read this article in today's Washington Post. It's hard to believe that we've now entered a sort of new era, one in which not everyone remembers exactly what they were doing that day, or how it felt. I can only hope that I can pass along the important parts of that day - the way we all came together as a country, the way politics was put aside, if only for a moment, the way we all wanted to do good with no expectations of acknowledgment for our service - to my son, so that he will always remember, too.

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About Me

Arlington, VA, United States
Maestro and mom to a wee virtuoso

I'm #1804