I wrote this last year, but thought I would post it today. I was asked what I thought and what I remembered about 9/11 and what i felt:
“I had just returned from NYC a few days before. I had stood in the very spot where the Towers were on fire. I had taken pictures of the buildings and marveled at their magnificence. Three days later, I was humbled and confused as our innocence and naiveté were crushed with a single act of hatred and violence. I thought of all the statistics I had heard when I was there, I thought of the people I had met and the pride I had seen on the face of every New Yorker. Part of me didn’t want to believe that it had really happened, but the proof was there. I was at work, and we didn’t have access to a television, so a friend of mine in Texas was emailing me up-to-the-minute blurbs. I remember the email where he said the 1st Tower had fallen. I cried for all those lives that had been lost, I sat in silence for all those dreams that would never be fulfilled. I wanted to be with my family, but they were far away. I wanted to hug my mom and know that everyone I loved was okay. When the plane crashed in Pennsylvania, my first thought was that the attacks were moving west. Who would be next? The magnitude of what had happened slowly began to sink in as my boss brought televisions into work and told us we were all free to go home if we wanted to be with our families. I was part of a generation whose single concern was technology and making millions fast. Now I was part of a generation that would always remember where they were on September 11, 2001. I didn’t want to take my eyes away from the television or turn off the radio out of fear at what would happen while my back was turned. I wanted to be surrounded by those I loved and make the tragedy make sense. ..”
This morning, for some reason, the events of two years ago were really bothering me. I think last year I was still in shock; still a little unbelieving and scared and waiting for something to happen. My roommate and I were talking last night. I think one of the reasons that it is affecting me so much is that in some ways, it seems like people have started to forget. I know I’m guilty of it. We’ve quickly gone back to the self-centered, american-dream, me-only mentality that has so permeated our culture for so long. When did we change from caring about others to caring only about ourselves?