Ten years.... Ten years since I graduated high school. Ten years since I started college. Ten years since the Twin Towers came down.
I think it's safe to say we all remember most vividly those moments when your life changes. I remember all the details of my wedding day; I remember most of the details of my children's' births; I remember very clearly the day my dad was diagnosed with cancer; I remember where I was on September 11, 2001.
I was in my first sememster at the University of Toledo. I had just come out of Dr. Tucker's Intro to Communcation lecture just after 9am. I got in my car and turned on 92.5, Kiss FM; Denny Schaffer's Breakfast Club. I remember Trisha Courtney coming on with the news that there had been a plane crash in New York, that one of the twin towers had been hit, moments later, stating that a second plane had hit the other tower. I was thankful that I had just gotten my first cell phone, and called my mom at home.
When I got home, hearing the news that the planes had come from Boston, and we were calling our family to see if anyone had been traveling that day, fearing that one of my family members might have been on those planes (they weren't). I remember sitting frozen in front of the television with my mom; my brothers were in school and my dad was at work, horrified by the images that we were seeing. I'd never been to New York City, but what if that had been happening here... I couldn't believe my eyes, watching the buildings fall. Then it began in Washington, and it really hit home. My aunt works in DC, I could barely breath, praying she was ok. She was.
One of my best friends was leaving for college that day, we were suppose to meet for lunch. We did meet, if only for a little while. Such an emotional day. I called Steve, we had broken up a few weeks before, and even though we barely spoke, I needed to talk to him. He was considering enlisting, all the men in his family were military men. He ended up not, sometimes I wonder how things would have changed if he had enlisted. I can say that we probably wouldn't have gotten married the following year if he had joined up.
I remember babysitting that night, and the little boy, who was maybe 3 was telling me about the big explosion he saw on TV at school. At first I was shocked to think that the teachers were actually watching the events of the day in a preschool classroom. But what if they
knew someone who was there...
I remember that first anniversary programs being difficult to watch. I remember going to visit my now father-in-law with Steve, about 18 months after the initial attacks. He was an Air Force Major, and after the initial attacks happened, put a blank tape in the VCR, hit record then left for work as quickly as he could. All he saw was the plan crash when he left, but we were able to see all of it again (before DVR was so common).
I remember being heartbroken a few years ago watching a special, compiled by everyday people who took out their video cameras and were taping the scenes out their NYC windows. The videographer that was featured, I don't remember his name, but he was in the streets for some other 'Man on the Street" tapings, and he was not rushing to the Trade Center, but getting the reactions of people watching it on the big screens downtown.
I've been humbled by the interviews that I have seen from the families of those killed that day. Seeing how strong the young people were, hearing the things that have brought them comfort over the last ten years. Hearing the voicemail messages left by those in the towers. My heart goes out to all those affected.
So where do we go from her? We grow, but never forget.