The Day That is Impossible to Forget

Another September 11th has passed. It’s an iconic but painful day, for our generation. A point in time, in which almost all of us can recall clearly where we were. Previous generations had the Alamo, the Lincoln assassination, the Titanic, but news wasn’t immediate in those days. People were told days or even weeks later. I’m sure it lessened the impact. Americans became aware of Pearl Harbor within hours and the Kennedy assassination within minutes.

On September 11th, millions of Americans watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center in real time with no filter. We saw the impact on one side, the debris flying out the other. We saw people jumping out of buildings to escape, and heard bodies hitting.  I remember seeing the first tower fall, and thinking that hundreds of inspirational stories of brave people, making sacrifices and helping one another, were being lost before our eyes.  We heard about the Pentagon and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania immediately. That may be part of the reason that it still hurts so much. We witnessed it live.

A flesh wound gradually heals, a scab develops and scar tissue forms, but every year this wound reopens. It amazes me that after eighteen years it is still so fresh. We opened the phones up Wednesday morning and people told their personal stories. It was as if they were talking about something happening two days before. I spoke with one listener that was there. He and two other men hid under his truck as debris filled the air from the fallen tower. He was crying as he told the story, eighteen years later.

I don’t have any answers or words of inspiration, just that same sick feeling. It used to be a fun happy day. It was my grandmother’s birthday and wedding anniversary with my grandfather. Now, I dread the day each year.  I’m sure that next year and the year after will be the same. Some of the listeners said that we should never forget. I don’t think that we could, even if we wanted.

I’ll try to be more fun next time, but right now I just can’t.

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