I was 11 or 12 when the towers were hit. I had no idea they even existed until that day. The t.v. was on all day, my mom was on the phone calling everyone she knew. My world has never been the same since then. I still remember how numb I felt. How I couldn't process what was happening. I remember watching the second tower burning and imagining the worst thing happening: the towers crumbling. And then they did.
I remember yelling at my sister that night for wanting to watch something else when there literally wasn't anything else, she was too young to understand. I was just old enough.
One of our family friend's sons is in the Marines. He is in Afghanistan right now because of 9/11. He's 19.
I can't help thinking the next time I see him when he gets back he might not be the same person I know now. He's the bravest man I know.
I went to NYC with my family on vacation a couple years ago, and visited Ground Zero. It's a giant hole. Everyone is quiet there. Hushed. There are scribbled messages on the surrounding buildings, and a bronze embossed mural to the firefighters who gave their lives that day. My mom cried when she saw it.
It's crazy that they've now found a ship at Ground Zero, centuries old underneath whatever was left. People forget how old NYC is. I forgot how old it was.
I can't turn on the news today. Just can't. They'll show the footage again, footage I have avoided seeing for years. I don't need to be reminded. I remember all too well.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
---Yeats, from "The Second Coming"
if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.
--Anne Sexton, from "Courage"