Random Blog A Musing Farf

Monday, September 11, 2006


I have to admit that I had forgotten about September 11th. Not, of course, September 11, 2001 – that is pretty much a day that is forever seared in my memory, but September 11, 2006. I woke up in a pretty good mood today and turned on the TV in hopes of checking out the weather report on NY1. They were reading names and I remembered that today is the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (and the Pentagon as well, but since I live in NY and watched the towers fall mere feet from where I was standing, I don’t really think about the folks in PA or DC as much). The good mood in which I awoke suddenly vanished.

On September 11, 2001 I went to work early in order to catch up on some school work before the day got started. I remember how beautiful the day was and I remember thinking that I should call Sister to meet for lunch at the deli we liked in the WTC. I worked in 1 World Financial, which was attached to the Trade Center (and is still standing). Suddenly, the entire building vibrated and what looked liked confetti began to tumble by the window. A ticker-tape parade? I could not figure out what was being celebrated. Then, after racing outside and watching the second plane fly over my head, I still did not think terrorism. I just wondered what was wrong with the radar at LaGuardia. And then I saw the fire. And the bodies falling (now I know jumping) out of the windows. I thought of Sister and how she was nearby and I fell apart. I traded the high heels I was wearing for an extra pair of someone’s gym shoes and walked to Brooklyn covered in dust. (Thank you Claudia, wherever you are, for both the shoes and the hospitality). Then I saw my family for dinner and went home and hid under my bed during the thunderstorm that took place that night. I will remember that day forever. It comes back to me unexpectedly –like when the sky is bright blue on a September day or when I look south and suddenly realize the landscape is changed.

I understand the need for people to mourn and to remember. And certainly, there is truth to the old adage that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. But I need to start forgetting. Everyday, when the subway shrieks to a halt in a tunnel, the claustrophobia that didn’t exist five years ago -- before I ran 27 flights down a crowded stairwell in terror -- comes back. (My calves hurt for days, by the way). Plus, I was lucky. I did not lose anyone close to me. I can not imagine how I would feel if I did.

Of course, people should remember that terrorism is still a threat and work toward peace. That goes without saying. And I would never begrudge someone remembering a loved one in their own way. Last year, I went to a barbecue on September 11th in memory of the brother of an acquaintance who died in the WTC. More than anything, it was a celebration of life and a great way to memorialize someone.

But for me, I need to try and not remember that day. I want to remember people as they lived and not as they died. I want to be able to wake up glace at my watch in annoyance when trapped in a stalled subway car and not in fear. After five years, I need to stop mourning and start getting past it.

So this year, I will not listen to the list of names being read. I will not turn on the news and watch images I know by heart being played over and over on television. Instead, I will treat today as normal as I can in order to stop mourning and start healing.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I did not realize that you and Sister were down there back then. It makes me all the more humble and grateful to have you around. It must have been terrible beyond belief.