Yesterday, our nation spent time remembering the tragedy that struck 10 years ago. We celebrated the lives lost and the lives saved. We reflected on what it means to be an American and why it is so important that we never forget the resolve and unity we experienced in the days, weeks, and months following the attack.
September 11th, 2001 marked each and every one of us, no matter how significant or how seemingly small our connection was to those who were lost.
Generations past have other collective experiences: A man walking on the moon, the assasination of John F. Kennedy…
But our generation has the quiet Tuesday morning, when 4 hijacked planes made the world stop. We are united not only by the loss, but also by the memory we hold. Each of us was somewhere when we first heard the news or watched the television as a plane flew into the World Trade Center.
I was boarding the early morning ferry departing from Martha’s Vineyard and headed back to Boston where I attended college. I was sitting in my seat listening to the woman a few rows behind me trying to make an airline reservation from Boston to Chicago.
She became increasingly frustrated as the airline employee told her she could not make such a reservation. All planes were grounded. The Sears Tower in Chicago was closed down…some kind of threat. It didn’t affect me.
Hours later after a bus trip following my ferry ride, I watched the bus driver drive past Logan Airport without making his usual stop. People on the bus started yelling. “Hey, that’s our stop!” Stop the bus!” But the driver calmly explained that the airport was closed. The entire airport.
We were finally allowed to exit the bus at one of the downtown subway stops. It was another hour before I made it home. Upon walking inside, everyone in the room was crowded around the television. I walked over to see what was going on and there it was…
…the image of a plane flying into the building. I froze. I started crying. What does this mean, I asked. What is happening?
Someone answered…We’re under attack.
Each of us remembers exactly where we were when we heard the news or saw the images on the T.V. screen. A coffee shop. Your home. Your workplace. Let’s remember where we were so that we might never forget.
Where were you on the morning of September 11th, 2001? What were you doing and how did you find out the tragic news? How did 9/11 change you?