Monday, September 11, 2006

Day 22

9/11. September 11th. No matter how you say it everyone remembers where they were when they found out. Just like my parents and their generation remembering when Kennedy was shot. I was in Texas visiting my sister. We thought we were watching some bizarre Die Hard film on CNN until the magnitude of what was happening became an unbelievable reality. My sister was working that day in the financial district and her offices were evacuated. I was hysterical until she came through the door, safe and sound. A tiny fraction of what the families of those in New York must have been going through. We lit every available candle in the house and filled the windows, porch and every available surface with light, in the vain hope that it might do some good. Everyone felt the enormity of 'our' vulnerability.

Almost a week later we were on one of the first planes out of Newark when flights began running again. We flew over the smoldering remains of the Towers on a night flight. The searchlights were almost as big as the surrounding buildings, giant spheres of light, like someone caught the moon and placed it on the ground. Our plane flew in complete silence throughout the whole journey. The captain only spoke when we had a two-minute silence at 8.45am (EDT). He didn’t need to ask us to remain silent us as hardly anyone had dared to breathe the entire way.

Today one of my closest friends (so close she’s my family) remembers 9/11 as the day one of her family members died. He was in one of the Towers. She is the bravest person I know and her family are all fighters, just like her. I don’t know what goes through their heads when they think of that day, or the following days, weeks, or even years. All I know is that they are still here, 5 years later, putting one foot in front of the other, every day, and surviving.

People talk about silent heroes all the time and my gorgeous friend and her family are definitely some of them.

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