because I felt compelled.

this morning, I woke up and started doing my thing. it wasn't until I was driving into work that I realized it was 9/11. and, as I had in the past 2 years or so, I didn't really give it alot of thought. as the day progressed, I forgot about it. nothing about the day was different. but I had to drive home around lunchtime and while I was in the car, there was a block of songs on a local radio station that were a tribute to the victims of 9/11. in between songs, there were brief snippets of accounts of the day. so I listened. and I found myself getting emotional and getting goosebumps.

that day, that block of time - weeks? months? - after that day, I do have to remind myself to remember. it feels like a long time ago. there are plenty of things that happened around the same time that I have no trouble recalling. I don't know why remembering this takes a tribute from a radio station. so I feel like I want to put this out there today.

my friend tracey emailed a distribution list at cdnow, where we worked. a plane hit the WTC. I figured like a prop plane, something small. then people started going into the caf, where we had tvs. seeing everything, it was horrible. being at work, it was numbing. my sister was stuck in orlando and planes weren't flying. it was the only help I felt like I could give to a horrible situation. so I went about it with gusto. I got her and her family onto a train the next day to get back to philadelphia. you had to call over and over to get through on a cell phone. that was all I was able to do, and when I was done, I went back to feeling totally useless. everyone wanted to help - we gave supplies and shirts and water, almost none of which made it to where it needed to go and little of which were ultimately used. we had vigils and prayer meetings and we all came together like a family. political cartoons showed lady liberty crying. I listened to the local news radio station constantly, listening to stories and news. I cried alot. I helped trent understand. it consumed me for a long time.

I cried the next year, when compilations of stories and footage were released.

I felt sadness the next year after that, when those compilations were re-released.

this year, I forgot.

when I do remember, I remember how sad everyone was, how sorrowful the situation was. and how horrifying. women shouting at tv cameras to ask if anyone had seen their husbands, their daughters, their sons, or their friends. the compilation movie that pointed out that the thuds you were hearing during the footage of firefighters in the lobby were actually bodies hitting metal and concrete from people who felt it was better to jump than to burn. the people in rural PA, and washington, who were overshadowed but still hurting just as much. the mothers whose children were being cared for and now were gone. the firefighters and volunteers who were trying so hard to find survivors who weren't there.

maybe that's why we can forget, maybe the reality of the situation is too hard to hold onto for very long. there are people whose lives were touched personally by 9/11 that will never forget, and I'm sure that there are others who for whatever reason will never forget, but I will forget.

I just have to remember to remember.

3 validations:

NME said...

I feel sheepish admitting that it's just another day to me. I guess I feel that I didn't personally suffer enough to claim it.
What I remember most is trying to answer questions of very confused first graders. It's difficult for adults to get their head around something so sad and horrible, and to explain it to a six year old is beyond surreal.

Kodi said...

We fly our flag at half staff on 9/11. All day long, people ask me why the flag is at half staff. I have to remind them over and over that it's 9/11. It sort of feels cold and sad all in one that no one remembers any more. I certainly have a hard time feeling anything but irritated on 9/11 anymore, and that makes me even more sad. It should not be that way.

Kathryn said...

Happy Bellaween!!!