Nine Years

September 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Family | 13 Comments
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Nine years ago.

I wasn’t a mother. I wasn’t a wife.

But I saw the towers fall. I saw the posters of the missing. I watched the fruitless search for survivors and the tattered flag hoisted high above the concrete graveyard.

I wasn’t a mother. I wasn’t a wife. But I ached for them, the mothers and wives who lost and were lost that day.

Nine years later.

I am a mother. I am a wife. I understand what it means to love, as a partner, as a parent. I can’t comprehend losing that, losing them.

Nine years later, I still ache. Always, I’ll ache.

And I’ll remember.

What will you remember?



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  1. I remember being on the administrative team of a preschool in Charlottesville, Virginia, and not knowing if we should hide, evacuate, or call the parents of 100 children (one of which was my toddler). We had a new niece just born the day before in California, still in the hospital. I was hoping my husband wasn’t working close to DC that day. I was hoping my parents were safe in WV (less than an hour) from the PA crash. My sister on the runway in Austin about to fly…
    I often think of those folks who jumped from the towers, and the folks who tried to save the plane, and children left without parents.

  2. Left this comment on wrong post. Today has me muddled.

  3. I remember the chilling stutter my heart gave as I watched the first tower start to fall. I didn’t understand: it looked like it was melting and then…down. I remember being glued to the tv and being horrified and confused. Who would do this? I remember watching people throw themselves out windows because that was better than being burned alive. I remember fear.

    I remember the stories of the pregnant mothers whose husbands had died in the attacks. I remember crying.

    I remember drawing together. I remember the streets lined with American flags in the days that followed. I won’t forget.

  4. I remember wondering what kind of world I’d brought a new life into. My oldest was about 6 months old at the time. I also remember worrying about my uncle who works at the Pentagon. Luckily he wasn’t in his office that day b/c his office was destroyed.

  5. I was pregnant with son #2 and remember fearing what the world might be like for him. I remember crying for all of the mothers and fathers who lost their children that day…

  6. I remember a plane flying into the tower as I watched a morning show. And I kept watching in horror, staring, listening to the news even though they didn’t know. That evening, I had a class to go to, and rode the bus with my friend who was always there that day of the week. She wore her headscarf. We talked. Both afraid, both shocked.

    And then she stopped riding the bus. Did she decide to get to campus another way? Did something happen to her? I only knew her first name and that we lived in apartments near each other. And that she was kind.

  7. I remember being so impossibly scared, and then so impossibly sad. That day changed me more than I even realize nine years later.

  8. I remember being in a conference room when someone rushed in to tell us to turn on the TV. We watched in horror as that first tower burned and then I remembered that my parents were on a cruise and were in NY that very day. It took me 24 hours to get confirmation that they were safe. They had opted not to tour the city that day but some fellow passengers who did saw the first plane fly into the tower from a nearby hilltop. The image burned forever into my memory is of people falling from atop the burning towers. There is something so awful about that.

  9. I remember that I lost faith in humanity that day.

    I was in a downtown office building in Texas when both towers crashed. We were later evacuated because we didn’t know if we were next. Even though I wasn’t in NY, I don’t think I will ever wrap my head around the atrocities that human beings will commit in the name of faith.

  10. Nine years ago, I was a teacher on a college campus, and felt this weird responsibility to the first year students I having conferences with that day, all away from home for the first time. I had no idea how to be any sort of anything for them except there.
    Three years ago, I was praying that I wouldn’t have N. on the anniversary of the date. This year, for some reason I was a little sad that New Baby couldn’t have had that birthday. Seemed like it would have been honorable. What has changed? I’m not sure.

  11. I remember bringing our dogs out late that night and looking up at the skies. Where there were no blinking lights from planes flying. No planes. I thought, at that time, I hope I never see this again in my lifetime.

  12. I remember seeing the smoke from across the water, 30 miles away. I remember being in disbelief that a plane not only struck the first tower, but the second. I remember roads being closed off as people were brought to Jersey hospitals because NY didn’t have enough.

    I also remember, in the days that followed, blood banks asking people to come only if they had less common blood types because so many people turned out to help.

  13. I remember my dad calling me from Malaysia and asking if I was watching the news – I was. But I couldn’t talk. I was crumbling as the buildings had. He understood and left me to my crying. That day changed the world for me.

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