That day

As in the 7 previous September 11ths since THE September 11th, I spent a good part of today remembering that day.

That day, like December 7, 1941, which will live in infamy for all of us who lived through it.

That day, when the first inkling I had that anything was wrong was an e-mail from my significant other at the time saying, “Check the news — I think someone crashed into the World Trade Center!” It was 9:12 a.m.

That day, when my sister called me from her job in Atlanta. She had only the radio to listen to, and didn’t understand fully what had happened. That both towers were gone. We talked a long time.

That day, when, feeling helpless, I grabbed the flag from our closet and hung it outside, wondering if the construction workers building the house next door knew what had happened as they watched me hang it.

That day, when, after all planes had been grounded, the rumble of a huge plane flying low sent me running to the deck to see. A worker on the deck next door did the same thing, cell phone in hand. We looked at each other and at the sky. The engines were so loud and the noise so extended, but we saw nothing. I thought it had to be a military plane.

That day, the first day I would never again regard a plane in the sky matter-of-factly.

That day, a day of tears that continued every day for the next month.

That day, when images from Ground Zero, played over and over, caused a visceral reaction every time — images that still give me chills, every time.

That day, the subject of an essay I wrote one week later, detailing everything that happened so I’d never forget. An account I’m so happy to have, because details do fade, and the memory does play tricks.

That day, the one that changed us forever.

That day, that awful, awful day.


Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance.
~ Edgar Allan Poe


  1. facie said,

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I think I cried more on September 11 and for weeks after then ever before in my entire life and ever since. And I relived it again six months later and then on the anniversary every year after that. I still cry when I watch some of the images.

    I need to relive it because I, like so many others, tend to get complacent, especially now that “breaking news” happens pretty much every day. Several people today said it will happen again. And for at least a year or two I thought so too. But I don’t think about it too much or that it will happen again. And that is the kind of thinking that gets one into trouble.

    It is good that you wrote an essay about it. I have written in journals for years, but sporadically. I am pretty sure I wrote weeks or even months after 9/11 and that I said just a few sentences. But you have inspired me to look through old journals.

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 12:41 am

    I hadn’t read the account I wrote since last year — it is very revealing to me to read it and to feel the passion I had when I wrote it. Fox News had a wonderful story on the events of 9/11 tonight (well, last night, since it is after midnight now). They had cockpit recordings and calls back and forth from fire officials and 911 that I had never heard before. They had firsthand accounts from Tower and Pentagon survivors and from cameramen who filmed the events. It was so hard to relive it again, but so necessary. I wish everyone had seen it. Why didn’t the mainstream networks carry programs like that? Makes you wonder.

  3. facie said,

    Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I too saw the Fox News thing. Some of it was from what they played Friday morning, but there were some new things. That is one of the amazing/compelling (for lack of better words) things about 9/11: there is always some perspective that you have not heard. When about 3,000 die and thousands of others escaped, there are so many stories to tell. I just cannot imagine what it was like for the people who were trapped and escaped.

    I have seen that Stanley guy on other 9/11 programs, maybe last year or even years before. His story is great, how that other guy (Brian?) saved him and when they ran down the street, they were holding hands. I want to hear more stories like that.

    As someone else said, we can show MJ’s funeral on the main networks, but God forbid we show something as relevant as 9/11.

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