The world changed for me 19 years ago.
While I know I am not alone in this sentiment, it is important for me to stop. And acknowledge. And remember every year on this day, a moment in our nation’s history when we collectively and traumatically were thrust out of the foundational naïveté we enjoyed as Americans—the innocence, the bravado, the egocentric belief that we were untouchable – and we were catapulted into joining a world stage where outside forces threatened our illusion of daily safety, our belief that no one could touch us. Because we were Americans.
On that day in my personal history, I was a mother of a 2-year-old. My daughter was watching Rolie Polie Olie and laughing on the couch, when the second plane hurled into the South Tower.
I can still recall the forever-imbedded vision, even as I sit and create this post today.
The vision of an aircraft, seemingly floating in time, as I stood and watched with a surreal uprising of horror and disbelief overtaking me, alongside a similarly profound and competing sense of urgency within my Psyche for hopeful denial—the NEED to believe that this scene could not possibly be real—as I watched United Flight 175 purposefully plunge directly into the South Tower, exploding in a catastrophic ending of life.
I find it necessary to still acknowledge this day, September 11, each year. To visit the 9-11 memorial site every time I am in New York City, and to tell my now adult children the story of the day in time when our nation changed.
I want them to know that there was a time when we felt safe on our country’s soil. That there was a time when we felt omnipotent as Americans. That there was a time when we didn’t have to take off our shoes as we went through airport security lines. Or be suspicious of unattended baggage sitting by a bench, left hopefully by another innocent traveler who was merely absentminded.
Why? I guess it is my way of holding onto HOPE that there will be a time when we feel that safe again, in our nation.
To all who lost their lives at the hands of cowards on that beyond-catastrophic tragic day. To all who lost their lives as heroes, displaying the most courageous act of selflessness and love one can offer another by risking their life, to help the lives of others. To all who lost their loved ones for a senseless, horrific act of hate by those who most certainly could never have experienced love in their Souls, I remember this day.
And, I always will.