Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11: Year 8

It's gotten easier, now that time has passed. The immediacy isn't quite so upon us.

And I say this as a young woman who broke down in tears in front of Carmen Agra Deedy when she shared with me the beautiful picture book she wrote about the gift of cows made to America by the Maasai tribe in Africa. That was only six weeks ago.

As my grandparents remember Pearl Harbor, and my parents the day Kennedy was shot: I remember 9/11/01.

I know where I was when the first plane hit (Renaissance Women in Italy History course). I know who the first person I reached on the phone was (Master Sergeant). I can remember shutting off the television because my roommate Cindy and I were so numb from repetition that there were no tears left. I can remember the name of someone who should have been at work that day and wasn't.

I can remember, a year later, tears streaming unashamedly down my face as I was a part of the Rolling Requiem. I remember feeling as though I'd just dropped 100 feet when the NJ Transit train pulled into the daylight--and I realized that I was riding around inside the basement of the towers.

Today, as I imagine it will be for the rest of my life, I will remember.

1 comment:

Anica Lewis said...

I know what you mean. I was in a history class, too, and I thought it was a fake at first because the teacher (nicknamed "Bootleg" by the students) was famous for making fake movies. When we realized it was real, it only seemed more unreal. I wondered whether this would be it, whether the attack was just part of a massive one about to hit the whole country, whether we were already aiming nuclear strikes in retaliation that would, through mutually assured destruction, cause human life on Earth to basically end. It wasn't until later that afternoon, when I realized that the human race was going to survive the day, that I really saw the horror and tragedy of what still had happened.

And it is very much like the JFK assassination was for my parents. My dad remembers the first and last name of the girl who cried in his fifth-grade classroom.