I’ve always purposefully avoided writing about 9/11. I never know what to say, and I fear that anything I say will be misconstrued, won’t be sympathetic enough, taken as callous or selfish, or they simply won’t make sense. There are others who write more poetically or beautifully or sympathetically about the day than I will. But I’m going to give it a try anyway.
Like most people, where I was on 9/11 12 years ago is burned into my brain. My story isn’t very interesting or important in the grand scheme of things so I’ll spare you the details. I will tell you that being from New York, having friends and family living and working in Manhattan and not being able to contact any of them did not do anything to calm the anxiety I felt while stuck outside 30th Street Station (Philadelphia). It’s also the only time I’ve ever hitchhiked. Good judgment and reasoning ceased to exist that day.
I felt more emotions in that 24 hour span of time than I had felt in most of the years before it (and most of the years after as well) but the strongest emotion I felt was sadness. I still get sad and it’s perhaps why I still can’t watch a movie or documentary about 9/11 or why I still get teary when I see footage of anything related to that day. It’s just too much for me to process.
Twelve years later.
While I’ll always remember the sense of patriotism throughout the nation that day and in the days following, the heroics of first responders and average citizens, the lives lost, the promises that we, as a country, would rise above and rebuild, I’ll never understand the caliber of hatred that led to the attacks on our country and my home state of New York. I just can’t process hating strangers so much. And when I start to write about it, my brain goes in 17 different directions and what I’m saying devolves into me being on a soapbox.
This is not the time for me to be on a soapbox. This is a time for me to offer a sympathetic ear and prayers for those who need it. For those who are hurting that extra bit today. For those who live with the literal scars of those events every day. For those whose lives were changed forever. For those who’ve had to rebuild. And to remember those we lost.
While it’s perfectly fine to go about our normal lives today, please take a moment or two to reflect on what you’re thankful for and to remember. Remember so that they’re not forgotten.
Although it’s been overplayed and use a lot in conjunction with this day, Miami 2017 (I’ve Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) is one of my top 3 favorite Billy Joel songs. But it doesn’t stop being amazing or powerful. Because this:
“They turned our power down
They drove us underground
But we went right on with the show”