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Nine Years Ago Today…

Posted on Sunday, September 11, 2011 in Misc

Nine years ago today, this is what I wrote in my journal:

September 11, 2002–

5:40 am – Almost 1 year to the minute since the first plane hit the World Trade Center – 8:46 am E.T.   I didn’t plan on watching the activities in New York, but I’m up so I am.  Today is going to be an extremely emotional day.  While I think we need to remember today – at the same time, I can’t wait until it’s over.

Watching them read the names of the victims and seeing the pictures and ages – it brings it to reality.  So many of these people were my age or younger.  I can’t even watch it anymore – I’ve turned the channel.

It seems selfish, but looking at the one year anniversary of the WTC, what I’m thinking mostly about is that I have done and accomplished so little in the past year.  I’m trying to think of anything admirable that I’ve accomplished – nothing.

..Now it’s an hour and a half later and the names and the pictures are still coming – they’re barely just half way through them all.

9:25 am.  They raised the flag this morning at work and then lowered it to half-mast.  I didn’t go – I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it.  Then at 9:00 they had a moment of silence.  You could feel the tension/anticipation building in the minutes leading up to 9:00.  Thankfully the silence wasn’t a long one; I was able to control my emotions.

The newspaper is full of articles, ads, and comics all commemorating this date.  I think the one I felt the most was the editorial cartoon.  On the top left hand side is a calendar page “September 10, 2002″ and a man taking a deep breath.  Then the next panel is filled with 9/11 images — wanted posters, WTC ruins, military aircraft, security checkpoints.  The bottom right side has another calendar page “September 12, 2002″ and a man saying “Exhale”.   I think that’s exactly how I feel – like I’ve been preparing for today – for the past week.  Yesterday I took a deep breath and knew I just had to make it through today.  Tomorrow I can exhale and go on with life – not forget, just go on.  I don’t want another year to go by without having accomplished something – I have work to do and hopefully God will help me see what it is.

Wow.  It seems like the rest of the day just went – not much time to think about what today meant – both good and bad.  I don’t want to dwell on the negative but I don’t think we should ignore it either…

I really told myself I wasn’t going to get all caught up in the emotion of this anniversary.  It wasn’t that I was going to “forget”, just that I didn’t want to go back and relive the sadness over and over again all day long. So much for intentions…

It started on the way home from the grocery store this morning.  There weren’t too many cars out on the road yet, but there was one lone man on the corner holding an American Flag up high and proud.  Not moving, not saying anything, just standing.  I sat there at the red light waiting for it to turn and trying not to look – sort of like you do when the panhandler is standing next to you on the curb and you sneak side glances, but don’t make eye contact lest you then be expected to give something back.  But in that short minute at the light I felt something change…and this quiet, shy person who wouldn’t be caught dead yelling anything anywhere… actually opened my window, honked, and yelled “Thank you” to that man on the corner.

No, there’s no avoiding today.  Now, I’m ten years older and hopefully wiser but I realize things haven’t changed. It hasn’t gotten any easier.

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