I almost forgot the date. But then I stepped outside into a bright sunny day and in a flash, my mind rewound to another blue-skied morning. Why do we universally remember the remarkable sky on that dark day?
I took a moment to reflect and went on with my to do list. Helped shuttle kids for my older son’s 15th birthday outing. Watched Wallace and Gromit with my younger. Edited my latest manuscript. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Plans to show (for the first time) 9-11 footage to the boy born four days after tragedy struck were postponed due to his homework load. “Hmmm. I’m not going to cry today,” I thought.
But it only takes one story of loss to unleash the tears. And now they flow unimpeded. And I’m reminded—
I was scared out of my mind on September 11, 2001. Scared for my safety. Scared for the unborn Jack. Scared for my city, my family, my friends, and my country. But I was also grateful. For a secure place with loved ones and strangers alike to watch horror and sadness unfold. For those who provided comfort, not just to me but all around. And mostly, for the heroes of the day, some whose courageous acts we didn’t yet comprehend.
As a heavy layer of dust settled over us literally and figuratively, I wondered how the world my child grew up in would differ from the world I experienced in my youth. And suddenly the answer is clear. Today, the threats may be different, but our humanity remains intact.