Friday, September 09, 2011

Remembering September 11th

I always feel a little bad about having mixed emotions on September 11th. For one thing it was a terrible day for our country. I can't believe it was ten years ago. I was one of few people who chose to not live in front of the television the week it happened. I prayed instead and went about my life. I didn't think dwelling in and being overwhelmed by the sadness of the situation would do anything to help. I didn't want to get stuck in the tragedy. I knew I couldn't handle that. It was a sad day and when the anniversary comes around it's a reminder of how fragile life really is.

However, September 11th is also my niece's birthday. She turned one ten years ago. I think having something to truly celebrate that day is actually a really good thing. My family would be very different if it didn't have Kelly in it. She is a spitfire to the 20th degree and is one of the most pleasant kids to be around. I love her like none other and I celebrate every year that she is alive.

That's where the mixed emotions come in. It's sort of this weird middle ground of emotion where I know I should be sad or thinking of people's whose lives were lost on 9/11 but yet all I really think about is the joy one little girl's life gave the people she knows on 9/11. I find it hard to be sad in the face of that blessing.

They were talking on the radio this morning about where they were when they heard about what was going on in New York and elsewhere. It got me thinking about where I was. I was in my second year of law school and I was getting ready for class in my still pretty new to me apartment and I got this feeling I should turn on the TV. I never have the TV on when I'm getting ready so it was a weird feeling and I decided to follow it. (I'm one to rarely discount my woman's intuition and usually attempt to follow it pretty closely.) I turned on the TV as footage of the first plane came on the news. I think my feeling about the television was probably within minutes, if not seconds, of when the first crash occurred. The commentators were still thinking it was a small commuter plane that crashed into the building at that time. I watched what was going on as I finished getting ready and then I went to school. I kept the radio on and then the timing gets a little bit foggy. I can't remember clearly if I heard on the radio about the second plane or if I made it to school and saw the footage. Because the footage played over and over of the second plane I get confused in my memory where I first heard. Needless to say my professor tried to have my morning class but it was let out early and classes were either canceled or not attended for the rest of the day.

I remember a kind of numb/dull feeling that came over me after about an hour. That's when I decided it was time to go about my day. I tried to run errands - at businesses that were mostly closed - and then I just gave up and went home. I allowed myself an hour of news everyday that first week and picked up the paper and tucked it away for another day sometime in history.

I never thought I would have a time in my life where I would say "I remember where I was when....". People talk about that with JFK being shot, or the man walking on the moon. I never expected to have National tragedy in my life but I do. I wonder what my niece and nephew will have as theirs.

If you feel like commenting and letting me know where you were when you heard about the World Trade Center I would love to hear about it. But also, I would love it if you could come up with something to celebrate about the day. It was already ten years ago. I can't believe it. I think it's important to remember as well as look forward.


Karisa said...

Two years ago, my friend chose to give birth (via scheduled c-section) to her third child on September 11th. So now, I am happy that I also have something to celebrate that day.

As for what I was doing in 2001...I was driving to work at UW (from Snohomish) and was listening to the morning show (the one with Ichabod Crane) and all of a sudden they started talking about something happening in NYC. Over the course of my drive, it became evident that something was very wrong. I called my parents (it was very early still) and was hysterical, telling them to turn on the TV. I still remember how surreal it felt, to be barreling down I-5, alone in my car, and feel so helpless.

A year later, on the first anniversary, I had just moved to Boston (the week before). My roommate had a close friend whose mother had died on one of the planes. It was such a solemn day and became much more real being in a place that was personally affected (I think one of the flights originated in Boston?).

It will also be interesting to be here, in the DC area, for the 10th anniversary. Especially with my husband working at the Pentagon.

I feel the same way, that this is going to be something that we recall, and are asked about, for the rest of our lives.

Sorry this is so long!

Keena said...

Its refreshing to hear of someone NOT dwelling on the sadness but chosing to celebrate what you can.

D.Prince said...

I don’t know way I’m so excited about commenting on this post because I NEVER comment on people blogs...don’t know why but I just don't. But I do feel compelled to share my thoughts and story....

Let me say one of the most thought provoking statements in this blog was when you mention this ~~~~~~~~ "I never thought I would have a time in my life where I would say "I remember where I was when....". People talk about that with JFK being shot, or the man walking on the moon. I never expected to have National tragedy in my life but I do. I wonder what my niece and nephew will have as theirs."~~~~~~~ I say that almost every year when 9/11 comes around.

Ok so where I was on 9/11/01 and what can I celebrate about that day....

I was at work in Washington, DC when everything erupted and total chaos broke out!!! Washington, DC had literally shut down, you could not catch a bus, you could not catch a train and you could not make a phone call with your cell phone. At that time I had did not know the people that I worked with well enough to link up for support and comfort. But I did remember that a good friend of mine “Angela” who I went to church with worked a few blocks down the street. So instinct told me to go down to her job to see if she was ok and if she wanted to stick together since nobody had any way of reaching family members or getting out of the city. So I met up with Angela ironically we meet halfway because as I was walking down to meet her, she was walking up to meet me (mind you we couldn’t use our cell phones to call out) so once we met up and made sure we were both of ok; outside of just being shaken up due to the circumstances we proceeded to find a way out of the city…….. so to make a long story short we hung together that entire day looking after one another, walking blocks after blocks after blocks through all the madness that was going on in DC trying to get to our separate homes. It was like our friendship grew stronger through the tragedy that had/was taken place around us!!! 10 years later….me and that same young lady that stuck by me during one of most horrific moments of the United States is now Married with our 1 year old daughter.

So what do I have to celebrate….
well my wife and I often contribute our relationship being ordained to that day!!! So we pay our respects and pray for the many of families that those that lost lives on that day. We also celebrate that the blessing that came out of that day.

kelsie said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to add a thought or two....on 9-11-01, I was off work for the day for an appt with my OB...7 months pregnant with the "ours" child of my second(and currently 11 yrs strong) marriage. When the news came across the tv screen, I cried, bawled, raged, and wondered what my child would have to look forward to, and what our other combined 4 kids, in grade school, were thinking and being exposed to news-wise.
But in the midst of all the terror and confusion......and while I hope no one ever forgets what happened that day.....I still had a new life inside me, the product of a wonderfully happy marriage, 2 kids and 2 stepkids I loved dearly that would need me to help them understand what was going on--they were in 2nd,3rd, 4th, and 6th grades......and the 3rd grader, my darling stepdaughter, had her 9th birthday that day.
I will always remember jumping to correct her older sister when she stated that Katie's birthday would always be remembered for this horrible act against our country, by stating that no, this day would always be Katie's birthday..that it just so happened that these terrorists had picked that day to perform their deeds.
And it still is Katie's birthday, first and foremost...and the anniversary of a tragedy second.....