Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Earlier this week the news featured the 9/11 memorial.  In the interview it talked about how important the memorial will be.  Next year, when it is completed, no child under 17 will have a first hand memory of that day.

That struck me because my oldest is 17 now.  It made me realize that she is among the only "children" left that remember that day.  Everyone older than her is now an adult.  Everyone younger probably doesn't remember.  She was among the youngest kids that day that would actually be old enough to remember.

I wonder what the, now 17 years old, kids of NYC remember.  We are over 600 miles from NYC but my daughter, barely 5 years old on that day, remembers it.  She remembers where she was, what she was doing, and all the confusion.  Her little sister was 1.5 on that day and knows about it but doesn't remember that day.

It's interesting because they say that everyone remembers the day the shuttle exploded.  I was in 4th grade then, I even lived in Florida.  I remember seeing the video 100 times but I don't remember that day at all. 

I remember every detail of 9/11.  I bet every reader also remembers every detail of what they were doing on 9/11.  

Is it the fear that makes us remember?  I cannot even begin to imagine the fear of those in NY and even NJ that day.  Or the fear of those in DC.  Or those who had family flying that day.  Many people died that day.  Many were injured that day.  But so many more were there helping.  Were there fleeing.  Were near there working.  Without ways to contact them, family and friends were left with nothing but fear.

Those that did not live in that area were left with fear too.  I do mean the people with family and friends in that area.  I mean everyone else too.  Everything happened so fast, yet so slow.  One crash after another.  No answers.  Would there be more?  Where?  Would they target our city?  Schools?  Capitals? 

While those in NYC couldn't reach their loved ones, people all over the country were calling their loved ones.  There were no reports that SC was hit or Idaho was hit or California was hit.  Yet we all called loved ones.  It was so tragic we still had to hear their voice to know they were OK.

Is that why every detail is remembered?  Because the fear embedded it in our minds.  Maybe every single American has a small bit of PTSD that embedded that fear in their lives forever.

Or is it the tragedy that makes this so memorable.  First hundreds of people were presumed dead, as the day went on that hit 1000, then THOUSANDS.  In this day and age, of missile and aerial warfare, people are not used to hearing of such high numbers of dead.  These things don't happen here.  This number is hard to even imagine.  This is where you realize what a small world this is.  In the Internet age it seems everyone knows someone who is from that area, lost a loved one, helped, or was otherwise directly effected that day.  The stories I heard from my friends in that area made it real.  How do you imagine THOUSANDS of people dead?  But that one child left with no parents.  That one child who will never be picked up from school.  That one child who has a name.  That one child makes it incredibly real.

As time goes by it's the good that comes out.  Nothing is good about thousands of lives lost.  But there are good stories to hear.  Stories of survival, stories of heroism.  It is that heroism, that patriotism, that love for each other that sticks around.  Those stories are the ones still circulated over 10 years later.  No matter how much partisanship there is in the US, we still have patriotism.  No matter how bad the news is each night, we still have heroes.  No matter how much road rage we see, when push comes to shove we want to help each other.

9/11 is now a day of volunteering, a day of helping, in remembrance, all over our great country.   Though we help on this day, though we'll never forget the details, maybe we need to remember more, every day.