Last week a friend at the playground said something about visiting relatives who wanted to watch some TV show about September 11th. He was working downtown in 2001, and went to twenty-five funerals. I didn’t go to any. Everyone I knew, even those who worked in the towers, got out. Each year I skim over the lists of victims, wondering if there was anyone I’d lost touch with who was killed in the attacks. There’s always someone with my first name, or my wife’s or my childrens’. It’s something about having been here, the knowledge that everything I love could have been taken away that day, and how important it is to remember and honor those who weren’t so lucky.
I watched some of the video that never gets played anymore. Looked at a few pictures and re-read my own posts from previous September 11ths; 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. Otherwise I’ve avoided the media as much as possible, I have a lot of thoughts about what this day has become, but those have no place in my head today. It’s still fresh for me.
This morning I took Noemi to her first toddler gymnastics class — lots of things are starting today. Out our front window I’m pretty sure I saw the President’s helicopter crossing the East River towards Ground Zero. The only bells I got to hear were those marking the Flight 11 at 8:46 am. I knelt down and watched Noemi through watery eyes while the traffic kept rushing up First Avenue. Not that many people stopped.
A lot has changed in five years. Both my daughters were born. Dozens of other children became a part of our lives, almost all of them born into this post-September 11th world. Friends married and divorced, new friends came into our lives, some old friends drifted away. Some passed on. Some things were built and others fell apart. More was learned than forgotton.
I’m planning on walking by several fire stations after Noemi naps, shaking hands and saying thanks. Today isn’t just another day, and won’t be for a very long time.
Love, and let those you love know it.