Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 feels just as surreal to me, 10 years later

But seeing footage on the History Channel and news outlets is a little easier now than even a couple of years ago.

I remember the conversations with my wife that day. Our apartment looked out at the Twin Towers, and she called me at work to tell me one of the towers was burning. I told her that the news wasn't reporting this; was she sure? She saw the second plane hit, feeling the impact under her feet. Another phone call about whether she should take our infant and mother, who was over visiting, and leave the neighborhood for her parents' apartment. The phones stopped working.  Later I found out that they just turned east off of Broadway when seconds later, the first tower collapsed and the wave of debris and smoke rushed up that street.

Strangely, I remember little about walking home from work. Except for the National Guard Humvee at a seemingly random intersection, with a .50 caliber Browning mounted on it, locked and loaded.

In hindsight, it was good that we drove up to my parents' home in New England for a week.

I didn't get to move back into my apartment for nearly a month afterwards.

I am glad that my colleague's wife was late getting to her job at Cantor Fitzgerald; she's still here for her two kids. And I am sad for my business acquaintance's family who was attending a conference on a high WTC floor that day, as well as for the other victim's families. So many widows, widowers and orphans from that day.

I hope our country can continue to mature in its perspective, culture, and policy formation as a result of this horror. We've taken a few steps forward, and a couple of steps backward, too.

There is a time to mourn, and a time to dance, and I am suspended somewhere in between.

Photo link here.  And a good speech:

Quotes that popped out at me, some already familiar:
Evil is real. And so is courage.

Greater love hath no man than he give his life for his friends.

we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

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