The last few months I’ve been spending a lot of one-on-one time with my niece, helping her on a journey towards getting to know God. We’ve made this tradition of going to mass and then off to eat. We have the craziest conversations at times, and I find myself fascinated with her.
I woke up this moring at 5am. I got out of bed, brushed my teeth and jumped into the shower. I was overcome with this sense of dread. A nervous twinge lingered in the air as I replayed the summer months in my head, wondering what I could have done differently. September was off to a good start with the end of a friendship. She said I had replaced her. It was not my intention, but I guess thinking back now, I did. People come into our lives for reasons. I stand strong to that idea.
I got dressed for work. Black pants, white shirt, and sneakers. 5:40 out the door. The local A&P didn’t open until 7 but book keeping required you to be there a little early to start reconciling the previous days sales. I jumped into the old Dodge Dynasty, flew to the closest Dunkin Donuts and then back to the grocery store with minutes to spare before 6am.
I did my work quickly and efficiently, like I did every day that I worked. At 8 am I was done and ready to open the customer service window. It was a slow morning. Co-workers came in and out of the office with casual conversation. Then I saw her. Its a little awkward when you have to work with people that tell you that they do not want to be your friend, especially being friends for a good chunk of time. You cannot make someone be your friend.
At 9am, things changed. The feeling of dread grew stronger. Chatter from customers pierced through the air like shards of glass. Did we hear what happened? Wanting to hear the latest gossip, my coworker and I listened intently. Its always the bad accidents, you don’t want to watch, but can’t help to stare at. Someone’s bombed the Twin Towers. WHAT?! A phone call follows a few short moments later. My mom’s voice is on the other end and she has just informed me that another plane has crashed into the Pentagon. …Another plane has gone down with the believed intention of hitting the Capitol or the White House, but was diverted. My co-workers and I gathered in the office and listened intently to the radio; hearing the rest of the day’s events unfolding felt so surreal. I looked at my friend, well ex-friend, and thought to my self, are we going to die?
I remember September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday. It was a day that made everything trivial going on in my life shadow in comparison. It was a day that brought the United States of America into mourning. It was day where thousands of lives were taken prematurely. It was a day where we questioned our safety. It was a day that we will never forget. We will always remember where we were and what we were doing the day the first plane collided with Tower 1.
As a country we learned how to get back a more confident peace of mind in our day to day lives. Not really. There are times when I ride the subways in Manhattan and think, What if something happens? On a brighter side, since 9/11, our country has gotten much better in handling attacks and potential national crises. While most people complain and find all the extra security frustrating at times, I find it comforting. Osama Bin Laden was caught and killed in May of this year. I wonder if we, Americans, are holding our breaths waiting for something else to happen?
This weekend the National September 11th Memorial opens with ceremonies and prayers to those that lost their lives that day in 2001. I am sure that it will draw crowds forever. I hope that as we visit it, we all silently pray for peace and forgive those who have done us wrong. Although the day will never be forgotten, forgiveness moves us into the direction of healing.
Where were you? Do you remember what you did on September 11, 2001?? Do you feel safe in our country? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.