I feel I must say something to commemorate the day, that I call "the worst day ever." We were not near any of the places hit; I was in class, teaching my college kids literature, when the latecomers came running in with the story of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. We went on a few minutes, and then the second sotry came of the second plane, and we sent to the student lounge. We are a samll school; I was the academic dean, and only I and a couple of teachers and the school psychologist were there. At least five kids went running for their phones; someone in their families worked at the Pentagon, or were near Ground Zero. The girl next to me was shaking uncontrollably; her husband was supposed to be near Ground Zero for a conference. She couldn't reach him by phone. That afternoon, she discovered he hadn't gone to the conferenc that day, and had rented a car to drive home.
The brother of one of my colleagues we learned later, died in one of the towers. My cousin by marriage, a day trader, was talking to colleagues and friends in Cantor Fitzgerald when the phone died. Many of them apparently did not come out. And, the girl who owns my favorite yarn shop across the street from work was a survivor; she had worked in the towers.
I thought of my Dad, who had been there late in 1976. He wanted to take me there to see the Towers; he said there were stores full of dolls from many countries. I thought of an ad I had seen the week before; there was a photo of the towers, with the caption "something will happen on September 11th." They meant they were introducing a new computer software. Little did they, and we know.
As soon as I could, I did what I always did in times of crisis; I called my mother. I had called her in 1993 when the first attack on the twin towers took place, when the Challenger exploded, when Oklahoma City was bombed, and during the Columbine disaster. I wanted to call her today; I can't. She died three years ago. That first Christmas, we joined others and bought RWB ornaments, and little fire fighter and police dolls. At the stores, others were buying them, too, and they said, as we chose what to buy, " we have to buy them; someone has to do something."
Today, may we think on those who lost their lives, and on those who have died since in the wars that have ensued. Bless them and their families and friends who have survived. There is no closure for grief; only memories, only rembrance. That, we will always have. May God Bless all of us who live in this world, even those who sadly see this as a day of celebration. Little do they know. Maybe someone can forgive them, for they know not what they do, either. Above all, God Bless the Union, and God Bless the United States. Have a thoughtful, safe, and careful day today, September 11, 2011.