I wake up. I watch the husband leave for work. I make the baby's breakfast. I turn on the news. I turn off the news. I turn on Good Morning America. I make eggs sunny-side-up. I make coffee. I make toast with butter and strawberry preserves. I watch the special report at the Pentagon. I watch Gates and Obama give speeches. I can't avoid it. It's the eighth anniversary of a very sad day. A day that forever changed our beliefs, our practices, our rules and regulations. A day that shook this nation to the core and showed us what we are really made of. A day where we all feel a little bit more like a brotherhood and a little less like an extremely bipartisan citizenship. I turn off the lights, and make it a little bit darker in here. I feel the lump in my throat that started in my stomach and has worked it's way up. Is it raining everywhere this morning? Even Scout sits quietly on a pillow and watches the memorial at the Pentagon. Isn't it strange to mourn for something you've never seen, for people you've never met and situations you don't fully understand? In 2007, seven months pregnant, I made my first visit to NYC. Six years after 9/11, I still didn't feel comfortable making a visit to Ground Zero. It was too hard. It was too much to remember. I wanted to avoid it.
In 2001, my brother shot into my room at our college apartment in Bryan. He ran in and said, "you've got to come see this. You won't even believe what's happened." He was on the phone with my mother. I still remember what cell phone he had. We sat on our couch and watched as the reports that a plane had run into the Twin Towers. Half asleep, I selfishly commented "does this mean we don't have school today?" In all honesty, I thought it was a fire in one of the towers on our campus at first (half asleep) glance. Then it happened. Right before our eyes...and the eyes of the entire world. The second plane hit the South tower. Then, the Pentagon. Then the field in Pennsylvania. Then, they fell.
We didn't know anyone in New York. The closest we came to the attacks that day was a story that my grandparents had had dinner in the restaurant at the top of the tower only weeks before. We knew someone who knew someone who was related to someone who died in the attacks. And still we mourned. We cried. We grieve to this day. It is something that has forever marked us. It is something we witnessed. The first of truly traumatic events in our young adult lives.
For the first couple of years, we stopped. We stood still. We had moments of silence. We gasped, "I can't believe it's been two years, three years, four years..." We waited for action. We waited for memorials. We waited for explanation. We waited to see what would happen next.
Now, eight years later...I still try to avoid the news. I try to avoid the posts on blogs and the posts in my updates on twitter and facebook. I try to put on a brave face and not feel everything I felt on that day, watching those towers crumble into the clouds of dust. But again, I've been drawn like a moth to the flame. I say to myself, "there's no reason to feel so sad. There's no reason to cry. There's no reason to remember." But there is. Sure, it's not felt as strongly as those who were there. But, I think it does a tremendous disservice to avoid it. To write it off. To not think about it. To not remember.
So, today...I'm thinking about those who lost their loved ones on that day, and the days that followed.


Matthew and Kelly said...

Remembering 9/11, even eight years later, still gives me chills.