As we gear up for the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01 this weekend, I wanted to share a few things with you. First, I wanted to share "my story" of that day...we all have one. Then, I want to share with you a site that I have been engrossed by, in the remembering and the stark detail.
First, "my story". Well, not to date myself, but I was a junior in High School--nestled safe in the cornfields of Indiana. Living in a town that was consistently rated in the top 5 places in America to raise a family. Protected.
After 2nd (or was it 3rd?) period, I was walking to my next class and there was a flutter in the hallways. You know--that strange electricity that pulses through the air when something big happens? It's perpetuated and sent along the air by surprise, anxiety, the unknown. That electricity seemed to follow me to class, and eventually engulfed me when I walked in the door to Yearbook Class (yes, I've always like to tell stories and take pictures).
The first thing I saw was my teacher's twisted face of sadness and horror. Then, I followed her eyes to the television that was bolted into the corner of the room--meant for routine school announcements and videos teachers put in to kill time. By the time I had gotten to class the two towers had been hit, but hadn't fallen. The news was trickling in that something had happened at the Pentagon, too. If I recall correctly, the news was first reporting that it was a bomb at the Pentagon.
I could feel my heart pumping faster and harder--clearly adrenaline was at work. There was a sense of panic, because at that early point, no one knew what was going on and what would happen next. It felt like chaos--and that the world was out of control. It doesn't take much for a group of 16 year olds to feel out of control--very little was in our control anyway.
Our school went on lockdown that day, no one in and no one out. The electric blue, stunningly crystal clear sky lit up the windows. The same sky New Yorkers looked up into where the towers' once stood. One nation broken under one sky.
In the coming days, the television remained a constant companion. I hated to go to sleep and miss the stories of those presumed lost. I wanted to hear them all, to count them as safe in my heart.
Time did an amazing project involving many people who survived or were touched that day. I've watched most of the videos and read many of the accounts on the site--but one I would highly consider watching is this man, Jim Riches. His story is chilling and heartwarming at the same time. He is the definition of a father--and his love for his son leaves a legacy. Please take some time to puruse the site this weekend, it's a great way to see aftermath and the healing that has taken place in the past ten years.