Mine is not a tale of heroism. Nor is it a tale of great triumph or sorrow. I did not know anybody inside the building that day, and I didn’t know any of the family members of those who were.
But I felt it. Oh yes, I felt it.
It was a warm, pre-autumn morning, the air was fresh and I darted hand-in-hand with my boyfriend across the street, laughing and teasing as we were wont to do. Our mission was to price a washer/dryer unit at the furniture and appliance store, and when we stepped through the door, our lives were changed in an instant.
There, on every television set, was the image of the first tower, smoke billowing out. Reporters attempted to maintain their calm, but couldn’t hide the shrill crackle of panic in their voices. Someone started to scream when the camera moved to the second tower just in time to see the airplane fly right into the side of it. The building shook. And so did I.
Two steps inside the door, feet rooted to the floor, my body trembled, my stomach churned and tears streamed down my face.
“There are people in there,” I whispered.
I didn’t know then how much our lives would change – how much the world would change. This weekend, marking the tenth anniversary, I have come across many recollections of that day and every one of them throws me back into the moment. Every one of them breaks my heart anew.
I wanted to write something in memory of that tragic day that has been seared into my memory. Something touching. Something important. But I find myself back inside the memory, feet rooted to the floor, tears streaming down my face. The horror overwhelms me.
So I will say simply that I remember, and I still ache for the loss the earth felt on September 11, 2001.