This post is belated by two days. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to any of you what this post is about, or the significance of that date.
I never thought I would have trouble pouring out the swirling thoughts and emotions regarding September 11 and it’s ten year anniversary, but I was wrong. I sat down to write this post multiple times, only to delete everything as I frowned at how much my written words seemed to cheapen what it is I was trying to say.
I wasn’t there when it happened. I didn’t lose a loved one and I was not part of the men and women who risked their lives digging for survivors. I was in no way directly affected by the events of September 11, 2001.
But at the same time, I was. To this day there is a bitterness in my heart towards my initial reactions. You see, I was sixteen years old when it happened, and I was stupid. When a friend came into the hallway to tell us the news, I made jokes. Assuming that he was making it up, I stood there in the hallway ‘mocking’ these so called attacks, making wise-cracks about what must be really happening. And as my friends and I stood there laughing, our voices were cut short by an announcement I’ll never forget.
“Any students wishing to watch the unfolding terrorist attacks on the world trade centre can go to the Yearbook room. It has been confirmed that an airplane has crashed into one of the two towers.”
I’m certain my face must have paled several shades, and if I could, I would have taken back every word I had just said. But I couldn’t. To this day, I am still ashamed.
I remember watching in horror as the scene replayed over and over, and the aftermath that surrounded it. I remember watching as the second plane crashed into the remaining tower.
I remember wanting to punch one of my friends in the face as she mercilessly mocked an image of a foot and a shoe in the ashen remains, with no body attached to it.
I remember feeling as if the whole world was crashing in on me, feeling like my lungs were being crushed by a devestating below, and falling to my knees in tears.
I remember feeling a pain and a heartache unlike anything I could have ever described. As strange as it may sound, that day, I felt the pain of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives had just changed forever. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but I did.
But more than anything else, I remember realizing just how naive I was, and just how real murderous, heartless people were.
On the radio Friday morning, one of the announcers made a comment that everyone who was around to watch and hear about September 11 was changed forever.
I know I was.
My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to those who are facing that anniversary right now. I wish there was more I could say, more I could do. But the truth is, no matter the magnitude of words I could muster, the beauty I could add to my writing, it could never do justice to what is on my heart, nor affect and lessen the pain that those touched by this event must be feeling.
To the men and women who risked all to help save the lives of a few, thank you for being the heroes that we only hope we could have the courage to be, should the tables be turned on us one day.