Every time I get to this anniversary, I fear the reaction I'll have. So, for the most part, I stay away from reading too much about 9/11. I can't immerse myself in it ever again the way I did in 2001.
The weeks after 9/11 - it's hard to fathom that it has been 14 years - were filled with grief.
I read a lot of fiction - some of it is horrifying. I've watched a lot of Law & Order. But I never imagined any human being could or would ever do something like we all witnessed on September 11, 2001.
I was at work. My boss didn't believe me when I told him the first tower was hit. I don't mean in a , "You're kidding. That's unbelievable. What's happening?" way. I mean, "No, that did not happen. You're mistaken." - complete dismissal of the possibility.
When I got an email from Matt that a plane had hit the second tower, I once again told my boss (the President of the company) and this time, he gave the news credence. It was hard not to when every major news site was being inundated with traffic to the point that we couldn't get on. I managed to find a lesser known news aggregate site and spread the word amongst my colleagues where they could go to get news since we didn't have a TV.
We must have been one of the only tech companies in town that didn't have a TV with cable.
So, my friend and I went to lunch at the diner down the road. They had TV. Eating was not the point. We weren't hungry for food.
The entire day had a surreal quality to it. Was this really happening?
By the time I went home, four planes were down and reports were predicting thousands were dead between the planes and the towers and the Pentagon.
That night and for weeks after, I came home and turned on the news. I don't know what I was looking for. Maybe understanding. Maybe connection. Maybe justification. Could there ever be justification? No...certainly not.
Then on day, Matt turned it all off and forced me to stop. I didn't want to, but I knew I had to. We all had to move on from that terrible day.
But we also still need to remember. 9/11 was and always will be an emotional and devastating memory for those of us that lived through it - regardless of the proximity we had to the actual events.
That day set off a chain of events that we are still living with. War. Security. Alerts. Fear. As this powerful post from Meg Cabot says, there was a lot we didn't know that day. There's probably many, many things we will never know about that day and its aftermath.
But I won't stop remembering, because every person who died or was injured on 9/11 deserves to be remembered.