september 11, 2007

As you all know, yesterday was the sixth anniversary of the world trade center, pentagon, and flight 93 terror attacks. From what I noticed on the train, around my office and in the neighborhood of my office building, the general mood was quieter than usual, more tentative. The trains were as full as usual, but the people were more subdued.

Personally, I reflected on the attacks and the tragedy, observed the moments of silence throughout the morning, and I was very aware of the cloud of sadness and remembrance hanging over New York City.

Above all that, though, I felt like an intruder. I wasn't living here in September 2001. I was still safely tucked away in a small and quiet college town in central Pennsylvania. Like the rest of my generation, I imagine, I will never forget that day and what I was doing when I heard about the attacks. I won't ever forget that nearly every class on campus was canceled, but my woodwinds professor insisted on having class - from 2 - 3:15 - on that Tuesday. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous. Now? I realize she was trying to keep life going. To distract us and to prove, in this small way, that we would not be shaken or defeated. But most of the day was spent gathered in M's suite with his roommates, my roommate and other friends. We talked, watched the news and distracted each other. We waited to hear from a friend's brother who was living in NYC, to find out of he was okay (he was, and is). It was a long day, but a very memorable one.

Last year, we had been here less than three weeks. I wasn't working yet and M & I went to some concerts and remembrance events happening around the city. I was very moved and very interested. I felt as though I was attending a ceremony, as though I was an outside observer.

Now, I've lived and worked in New York for just over a year and this is my second September 11th spent here. This year, I feel a part of this city. I feel connected to it. But no matter how long I'm here, no matter how many more September 11ths I spend here, I will always be an intruder. I will never understand the deep tragedy, the spirit of helping everyone around you through the day and the following weeks and months. I will never understand the strong bonds and the togetherness that rose out of that horrific tragedy, the loss felt so deeply by an entire city at once.

Yes, I have my own strong September 11th memories and experiences. But they don't quite fit in here. I can, and will, continue to remember the lost lives, honor the heroes, and reflect on each anniversary. I will do it quietly and personally, though, out of respect for those who were here that day. The true survivors and the true heroes.


maresi said...

where are you, my dear? surely you have something to say. love you!

Copyright © 2008 - not an only child - is proudly powered by Blogger
Smashing Magazine - Design Disease - Blog and Web - Dilectio Blogger Template