Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You Seven Years Ago Today?

I was working at home on the bright blue morning of September 11, 2001. I had just gotten off the phone with Mark when I turned on the television to catch up on the morning's news before starting my day. The first plane had just hit one of the two World Trade Centers and the television anchors were reporting that it was most likely an accident. I stood in front of the television, transfixed; moments later, I saw a streak in the corner of the screen and then the second plane hit . . . and everything changed.

I didn’t know anyone on any of the four planes, or in New York, Pennsylvania, or Washington D.C. but, like all Americans, I grieved and still grieve for the thousands who gave their lives that day and for the many, many loved ones who will forever have a hole in their hearts. They ask that we never forget, and I hope we never do.

Earlier this year, Mark and I traveled to New York City. We walked to the site of the former World Trade Centers and as I looked out and down—knowing I should have been looking out and up—I started to cry. For me, it was the same as my experience at Pearl Harbor: horror and pain mixed with hope and pride.

Barack Obama is calling for a return to the post-9/11 sense of community and participation. I remember those days—when it was comforting to be with others, looking people in the eye, being close, talking, sharing, listening. I liked that America. As a divisive election nears, let’s try to remember that we’re more alike than we are unalike, that our political affiliation, sex, religious belief, cultural background, and even our shade of green doesn't matter as much as the fact that we are all citizens of the world.

Question of the blog: Where were you seven years ago today?

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