I just realized that I forgot to post the topic for this week, but that's ok. It's also a Tuesday, and not a Monday, but that's ok, too. There are more important things in life than adhering to arbitrary blog deadlines. Thousands of people learned that the hard way 10 years ago, this week - September 11, 2001. Ten years. In some ways it feels like it happened such a long time ago. So much has changed in our world since then - we've been "at war" for almost 10 years. We've been remembering those lost on that day and in battles overseas. Our confidence and sense of security has been shaken. We have to take our shoes off to board planes and we can't bring our own bottles of water through the security checkpoints. My Muslim friends endured
In other ways, it's hard to believe that it was 10 whole years ago. I can still remember exactly where I was (had just moved into our new apartment) and what I was doing (sleeping, since we had moved all night) when our roommate came banging on the door shortly after the first plane hit. I had just turned 20, and had actually just flown back from a birthday visit to NYC a few nights earlier. I was naive about the global climate and had never heard of the Taliban, but Charlie, being an avid news reader, immediately started talking about Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. He knew before the second plane came. I remember watching the second hit, and then watching the towers come down. I had stood in front of them just days earlier. We did nothing but watch the news. I cried a lot. Everyone did.
We were lucky. We were spared the pain of losing family members and friends. Mostly, anyway - my uncle (who was more like a father to me, and my closest confidant) lost good friends, good people that he had known since childhood. In the months after the attack, he turned to hard drugs to help him "cope." We lost him for a few years, but not permanently. Like I said, we were lucky.
A few weeks after, there was a telethon called "America: A Tribute to Heroes." Bruce Springsteen sung a song called "My City of Ruins." It was originally written about Atlantic City, but took on a whole new meaning in the context of 9/11. It was cathartic.
"My City of Ruins" was featured on "The Rising," which was released right before the first anniversary of the attacks. The album felt like it was written to heal our hearts. It's an album that recognizes the sadness and grief and remembrance, but it also conveys a sense of peace and hope for the future. I would link to every song on it, if I could.
I don't know how many of you ever had the opportunity to see the New York skyline while the towers still stood. To this day, I just can't get used to the hole where they used to be. Every time I drive into the city on my regular visits, their absence is painfully apparent. I can't even imagine how the fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, and friends who have much larger holes in their hearts feel every day. May we never forget.