Thirteen years ago today I was where I spend a lot of time. Another training. My husband was where he spends a lot of time. Traveling for work. This time to Newark. Our 2 year old daughter was spending the day with my best friend.
It’s one of those days that I can pinpoint where I was and what I was doing but most of the day was a blur.
I remember getting the news of the bombings. Of the towers. And the feeling of raw, unadulterated fear to the pit of my stomach with the realization my husband was in that area. At that moment I couldn’t remember if he told me he would be in Newark or New York City. I remember my cell phone exploding with calls from his family. From my family. From friends and neighbors. Then the realization that his brother was working 4 blocks from the Pentagon. Had anyone heard from either one of them?
Cell coverage was of course, extremely limited or shut down completely. I was without news for about 4 hours but by lunch time we had located both my husband, his brother, and a neighbor who was working in Manhattan. They were all safe. They would all be heading home soon.
Even writing this to remember the hair is standing up on the back of my neck, my stomach is tightening, and tears are starting to form in the corners of eyes with thinking of what I would have lost on that day. I was pregnant with our second child. My niece had just been born two months before. You want to say that you were one of the lucky ones that didn’t endure the horrific deaths of that day but I think we all say no matter where we were, what did or didn’t happen to us, we all lost something precious that day.
I’ve made several trips to New York City since 9/11/01 but I’ve never been brave enough to experience the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I don’t know how I would hold in the depth of emotion. But this morning I decided that in December when I’m there for yet another training, I will go finally pay my respects to the first responders, to mothers, fathers, girlfriends, sons, cousins. neighbors, and to those who caused this pain, to all that lost their lives that day.
It will be about me.
It will be about them.
It will be about grief.
It will be about the day.
It will be about moving forward.
It will be about never forgetting.
What do you remember about 9/11?
Have you visited the 9/11 Memorial?
What did you experience?