Some days will live in your memory forever.
Some moments will never be able to be forgotten, never pried loose from whichever cells they were imprinted on. They hold on tight, never able to be shaken loose. We each have a memory of that day, September 11, 2001. Our own personal memories that add up to a community understanding of what happened. We remember together. We grieve together.
September 11, 2001. I know where I was, I know the exact spot that I was standing in my house, even the direction in which I was facing. I know precisely what I was doing (too ridiculous to even recall here) and what called my attention to the events that started to unfold. I know who I was speaking to and the conversation before. And the conversation after, many moments of stunned silence as we watched on the television and tried to take it in. I remember the stunned feeling of shock trying desperately to get that this was the reality of what was occurring. And that reality feeling real not happening for a long, long time. The reality was a nightmare and felt impossible to absorb. And I remember living in the moments, not knowing what would happen next, what to expect next, what we would hear next.
I knew that I wanted my family close and closer and closer still until I was almost in danger of strangling them because they were so close, but still better than having them drift off into a world that had become unstable and unsafe and full of horror. And so I called everyone home. And then I got off the phone so that other, more urgent phone calls could be made. There was no going anywhere else that day. Once home, that’s where we stayed. We watched, tears rolling down our faces, hands over our mouths, choking back our unspeakable sorrow and yes, rage. Seeing our cities, our country in chaos, under attack, with no way of knowing where else it would occur. With no way of knowing how it would end or stop. There were no boundaries that day. No clear beginnings or endings. There was simply no understanding of the world as we knew it.
I continue to mourn for how the world changed that day. And for how the world continues to change in painful, unfathomable ways every day since. Every single day since, somewhere in the world, there has been pain and killing. The violence and hatred threatens all of us, creeping in and over us, ready to drown us. The myriad of horrors since are too numerous to mention but today is for remembering this day, today. September 11, 2015. A faint echo of September 11, 2001. A day worthy of being remembered– hero’s honored, family members and friends lost forever, still loved and missed. A nation shaken right down to the ground. A world forever altered.
Today is for honoring what we lost that day, our innocence. Our loved ones. Our friends and family members. It was a loss of a past and a present and most of all, it was a loss of a future. For me, it was a colossal assault on my perception of personal and national safety. For others who had experienced other breaches of safety, perhaps it was less about safety and more about pure sorrow. We all got to the sorrow, once past the shock. Mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, friends, lovers, gone. Never coming home. Hero’s never coming home.
We were never to be the same. We were changed. We knew it that day and we continue to know it fourteen years later. The Freedom Towers stand in the place that the Twin Towers once stood. The pools of water reflect the sky that was split apart fourteen years ago. It is a place that is sacred. It is a place that is alive. It is a place that honors those that were lost that day and those that have lived with that loss every single day since.
I am sending love and tenderness to those who continue to live with personal loss from that day. Because ultimately, I believe that is what we have. Love. And we can choose love over and over and over again or we can choose hate. I choose love. I choose to send love. I choose to remember that love exists in the most violent and painful situations. We are all sending love. We want you to know that you do not grieve alone.
You don’t remember alone.
We are here with you.