Seven years later

It's been seven years. Seven years since the unthinkable happened. Seven years since the sky fell. Seven years since life as we knew it was forever, inexplicably, undeniably changed.

In those seven years I cannot for the life of me remember what the hell I was doing on Monday, September 10, 2001. But I want to remember. I want to remember so that I can say "Oh, that's what life was like pre-9/11." But I can't remember. I know I worked that day. I think I probably went to Kevin's house that night for a while. However there is nothing spectacular that sticks out in my collective memory from that day. It was just another unremarkable day.

I do remember what I was doing on Tuesday, September 11 around 9:00 in the morning. I was sitting at my desk when the secretary rushed into my office and said "A plane just hit the Twin Towers in New York City." My first thought was to call Kevin at work. I think I wanted to check and see if he was OK, which is bizarre because his office was just across the river on Front Street....he was nowhere near NYC. But in my mind, I had to hear his voice.

And then my co-workers and I watched hell being unleashed on the East Coast of the United States. We watched the second tower get hit, we saw both towers crumble back to Earth, we sat in silent horror as the unthinkable unfolded.

I remember the silence that day. No one spoke at the office. The phones were eerily quiet. That night, there was no sound from the air - no planes, no helicopters. Nothing but silence.

And now, seven years later the images from that day still manage to seep into our thoughts. Perhaps not on a daily basis, but they are there -- just below the surface. We will never go back to life as it was on September 10, 2001. Every day is just a few steps away from September 12, 2001.

I remember the paralyzing fear we all felt that day, the fear that another attack was right around the corner. I wonder now if that fear has been replaced by a false sense of security? A sense of "it can't happen again." They used to show the threat level at the bottom of the screen on CNN. I don't think they show that anymore. [I believe we're still under "threat level yellow" but I'm not sure. Do you know?]

We all still wish for a safe world, but I think we are faced with the grim reality that we, as American citizens, are still targets. There are still bomb-toting crazies out there whose only mission in life is to kill Americans. Do we know why we are the targets? If there is an explanation, will it make any sense? Or do they just want to kill Americans because they hate what we stand for, what our country stands for?

I wish I had the answers to those questions. It would make my role as a parent that much easier. My daughters are still too young to comprehend the events of 9/11, but some day I am going to have to explain it to them. [Kevin said to Olivia today: "Some day you'll read about this at school." And that's what it will become - just another history lesson in school. But it is so much more than that.]

How do you explain to your children that we will forever live under a color-coded terror threat level? How do you explain to your children why a group of terrorists decided to hijack some planes and fly them into buildings, killing thousands of people? Better yet, how do you do that without creating an unimaginable sense of fear?

How do I explain something that even I can't understand?


  1. I love that you shared your memories.

  2. My daughter asked me this morning about why the planes did that to the buildings. She was 5 months old when the tragedy happened. I was getting ready to go into work when the first plane hit. I ran in and grabbed her from her swing..not wanting to let her go...