AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: September 10, 2012 | COMMENTS: 4 Comments
This is a tough day. There’s no denying that. The anniversary of such trauma and loss will never, ever get easier. Considering I didn’t lose anyone eleven years ago this morning, I can only imagine the pain this day holds for the familys left behind. And because of the way I’m wired, I swear I can feel their pain.
It’s uncanny too, how much today is like that day. A Tuesday, with clear blue skies, and cool late summer air giving way to the warmth of the sun. It even smells like that day. Clean. Crisp. Hopeful.
It’s amazing how quickly that morning changed for the world–in the blink of an eye and the crash of four planes.
There are sounds that I equate with that day. Not sounds of the actual catastrophe. I didn’t hear those in Ohio. Instead it was silence. Traffic disappeared. Parks emptied out. The stillness that swallowed that morning didn’t choke out the sunshine, but did send a layer of heaviness that settled in on our world. It was as if the colors of the day dimmed, as the evilness of what had happened settled into our lives.
And there are people I remember. People I didn’t know, but cried for anyways. A handful have been emblazened in my memory. I’m not sure why their stories stuck with me for the past eleven years. Perhaps they were the only ones I fully comprehended, as I remember turning the television off, not being able to watch another loved one cry for their loss.
I felt guilty about that and always forced myself to turn the television back on. Like it was my duty to watch and honor the victims. Looking back on it now, I guess it was the only thing I could do. I remember feeling helpless.
I remember picking up Drew at school that afternoon. There was no bus ride for him, on that horrible day. He was a first grader and I’d decided against pulling him out of class early. I understood why many parents rushed to their kids, but for me, I knew the world had been permanently changed. I wanted my little boy to enjoy the rest of his school day the way he’d enjoyed it only one day earlier. I think I was trying to extend his “before” because I knew that the “after” was going to change the course of his world. I might have also needed the day to find the right words. I remember fumbling to explain the day’s events to my six year old.
Eleven years later, the feelings of that day are as clear to me as if the entire nightmare had unfolded yesterday. That’s probably because I’m committed to remembering–to flying our flag every day of the year–to respecting the men and women who have kept our country safe ever since–and to never forgetting how precious life can be. Even in my lowest moments, and God knows there’ve been more than a few, I remember the victims who lost their lives that day and would give their left arms to stand in my shoes. In a way, remembering has been a gift and rendered me more grateful.
So I’ll continue to remember. It’s the smallest and the biggest thing I can do.
What do you remember from that day?
Are there any memories that come back to you repeatedly over the years?