Today, of course, is the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As someone said on the radio this morning, I doubt that anyone who was alive and aware that day will ever forget where they were and what they were doing when it happened.
Four years ago, in the second year of this blog, I asked others to post their recollections of the day and added my own, which I'll reprint here:
I was on a break from teaching, like every Tuesday, and actually spent the time of the attacks in blissful ignorance at a nearby Starbucks. I had CD's on in my car instead of the radio, so I totally missed the news on both the way over and the way back. I did hear someone listening to a radio on the Starbucks patio and they were talking about "the second plane," but it didn't register with me at all. (It amazed me later that nobody walked inside and told us about it.)
When I got back to the school, the flute teacher stopped me in the hallway and asked me if all my students were being pulled out of school (evidently hers were). I said, "No, why?" and she told me what had happened. I spent the rest of the day like everyone else, in shocked, depressed amazement, catching the news when I could. There I was, not even two weeks into being a homeowner, and the world suddenly felt so different. It added to the pall cast over everything when I found out that the sister of a girl I graduated from high school with was on Flight 93, the one that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. (I know that there have been quite a few lists of names read aloud today, so let me share hers: Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. May she rest in peace...)
The whole thing felt so surreal; how could anyone hate us that much? The concept of the suicide hijacking was unprecedented as well (before that, hijackers just usually wanted to go to Cuba, and that's why airline personnel were taught to cooperate with them rather than try to subdue them).
I know there are still terrorist plots being hatched, and people capable of carrying them out...but I hope nothing like this ever happens on U.S. soil again. Or anywhere, for that matter.
For those who may be new to reading this blog since then, I'll invite you to share your recollections in the comments to this post.
As I've said for several years now, I hope nobody tires of talking about this every once in a while, because if we stop talking, we might forget, and this is a day that need not be forgotten anytime soon.
Also check out this video montage of New York scenes from March of '02 by James Lileks (scroll all the way down to see the video).
As we remember the lost, we celebrate the new: Congrats to my cousin Matt and his wife on the birth of their first son, Jonah Daniel, yesterday morning. He makes a first-time grandmother out of my Aunt Nora, Mom's sister, and my late Uncle Dan would have been a very proud grandpa. Today may be a somber day for our nation, but thanks to Jonah and my middle nephew Caleb (whose birthday is tomorrow), today is also bookended by the vitality of young life.