September 11, 2001

I've been called cold and heartless.  I call MYSELF cold and heartless.  I received this notation on my persona when it was discovered that I don't turn into a blubbering fool at movies like "Old Yeller".  Who doesn't cry over the death of dog!  I don't.  I never cry in public, or at least that anyone will see.  I suppose this makes people think I'm cold and heartless.

I asked Mr. D. last night if I was heartless.  The conversation streamed from a general "annoyance" that I was beginning to feel with the numerous references to September 11, 2001 that were beginning to pop up on TV, my facebook & twitter feeds, and in general conversation.  Photos of the towers with the words "Never Forget" and "We will always remember"...I was getting annoyed.

You're beginning to agree with the heartless description, aren't you?

Before you begin leaving ugly comments, let me explain myself.

On September 11, 2001, I (as many others did) watched the mornings events unfold in front of me on my TV.  Believe me, I'll never forget it.  I watched that 2nd plane come into view on my TV screen, and just as I was thinking how I'd never seen a plane look so large next to the building, then realizing that was because that plane should not have been next to that building...I watched it fly into the 2nd tower.  Believe me, I'll never forget it.  I felt the knot in my stomach growing as the news from New York quickly shifted to include the Pentagon near Washington D.C.I sat and watched the smoke billowing out of the towers and then realizing that one tower was collapsing before me with the population still inside.

No.  I'll never forget it.

I'll never forget the dread in my stomach as the news from New York quickly shifted to include the Pentagon near Washington D.C.  I'll never forget the heroism displayed by the passengers of Flight 93 who gave their lives that day to save our country from yet another horrific act of terrorism that morning.

I didn't know a single person on any of the planes or in any of the buildings that were hit.   Nor did I know any of the men and women who were called in for rescue, or military members who have since fought for our country.

But I'll never forget.

How could I ever forget?   I just don't want to relive it year after year.  And apparently that makes me cold and heartless.

This morning, 11 years later, I find myself watching the morning news and each channel's recollections of what happened on that day.  I caught a glimpse what the New York City skyline from 2001 looked like with the twin towers standing tall, before they fell leaving the city in a cloud of dust and debris.  Immediately, I was taken back to my own recent trip to New York City.   Even 11 years later, never having seen the city skyline in person - the World Trade Center towers were an obvious absence as I looked across the harbor.  I remember being at the memorial that was established at Liberty Island State Park in New Jersey, directly across from lower Manhattan.  

Today...I get it.  In August, I stood at this "Empty Sky" memorial in New Jersey and looked toward where the towers once stood, and I traced the names that are engraved on the walls.  I didn't know any of them, but they were somebody's mother, daughter, son, father, grandparent...they were someone.

And yes, they deserve to be remembered, and I will never forget.



Tammy Hulbert said…
I am always torn on this day. Two reasons: 1) The fine line of honoring those who died while forgiving the ones who caused these deaths. 2) Sept. 11 is my mom's birthday.

My desire to celebrate a living person I love over honoring the dead may make me a heartless person as well!