9/11

My husband posted today about his feelings on 9/11. Since we live under the same roof, I feel compelled to do the same.

Time certainly changes everything but that day is still crystal clear in my memory. Tears still well up in my eyes when I think of that day. We were lucky, no one in our immediate circle was in the Twin Towers that awful day.

I didn’t see the first plane hit but I did see the second plane hit. I stood on 5th avenue with lots of people agape at the horror of what we were all witnessing. The horror of it all didn’t hit me for about 1/2 an hour. I am the eternal optimist. I figured that it was going to be ok.

I was with a few people and we went up to someone’s place to watch CNN. When we saw the Pentagon, chills ran down my spine. I hightailed it down to our kids school.

It was impossible to get in touch with anyone because the cell towers were disrupted. Luckily, my husband happened to get to the school at the same time I did. We got the kids, and the group of people he had brought along with him, and began to walk up 6th Avenue.

It was if we were walking through a war torn city. No cars and people just milling around. We saw plenty of people covered in ashes that had come from lower downtown than we were. There were at least 150 people lined up at St. Vincents Hospital to give blood to the injured though there ended up being none. Our son was 5 years old then. Our daughters were 8 and 10.

Our son kept asking why? How could people do this? Why would they do this? How do you explain insanity to a 5 year old? All of our kids were just numb.

We came home and tuned into CNN with the whole brood. Our school stayed closed all week in hope that 6th Avenue would be clear at all times for any victims. Jessica, who was 10 at the time, went with me down to St. Vincent’s later in the day to give clothes for people that might need them. Nurses and doctors were just standing around waiting. We knew what we all didn’t want to believe. There were no survivors. It was so eerie.

The world had changed that day. Our children are growing up in a world where feeling safe is no longer a reality.

The next day we stayed together as a family. We went to the movies in midtown. I made all of us get on the subway to get there. We were going to take it there and back. My husband thought I was insane. My feeling was that we live in NYC and we can not let the ever looming fear hang over our heads and and affect our lives. We live here and we need to get back on the horse per se. We did.

Sure our kids had trouble sleeping and were freaked on subways when they paused and the smell of smoke permeated for weeks in our neighborhood but this is our home and hopefully we will continue to live productive lives here.

Do I still think about what happened that day? Sure but I agree with Tom and Fred about that article today in the NYTimes by Javier Marias, time moves on. 9/11 is in the past. Life is for the living.

On an added note, after an entire year had passed, on the anniversary of 9/11, as always, I woke up our son for school. The first thing he says to me when he opens his eyes, completely unprovoked, “did they ever catch that Bin Laden guy yet? My answer was nope. The aftermath is they decided to go after Saddam instead.