As one who spends so much time online, I’ve been both inundated and obsessed with memories of September 11 this week. Videos, stories, photographs… I click on almost everything. Above is a video timeline of the day from ABC that brought me back to every hour as though it was yesterday.
I tried to think of some sort of cookie tribute to 9-11 but I couldn’t even bring myself to translate something so big into sugar and butter. Ten years later, I still well up and start to cry at even the thought of September 11. While close to both the tragedies in New York City and the Pentagon, I lost no one dear to me. Considering what just the thought of the day stirs in me, the pain it brings to those who lost loved ones must be immeasurable, and any tear I shed over September 11 belongs directly to those who perished and those that knew them.
On that Tuesday morning, I went to work as a cookie decorator in a shop right outside of Washington DC, as usual. Looking back, I’m so grateful to have been with that community, my cookie family, on that day. We heard on the radio about a plane hitting the World Trade Center, thinking it odd and scary, but surely an accident. As the second plane hit, it became clear it was not an accident, and we gathered at the radio for hours, barely caring about the cookies sitting on trays unfrosted, running out to the other shops for any news they might’ve heard. We spent much of the day just talking, for talking is supposed to help you understand the unfathomable. I tried calling my friends and family, but could not get through. Though it was a year before I met my army husband, who now sometimes works in the Pentagon, back in 2001, I had close friends in the army who frequented the Pentagon. And I had, and still have, immediate family members who work in the financial district of New York City.
A member of my immediate family had been in the World Trade Center earlier that morning and was trapped in her own office building nearby during the attacks. She was finally evacuated and raced down the street with the hundreds of others, engulfed in the dust of the falling towers before jumping on a ferry, any ferry, to get away.
For weeks after the attacks, I craned my neck every time I drove on 395 in Virginia around the Pentagon, just to see the burned-out, destroyed side. I was guilty of gawking, with horrified amazement, knowing I was witness to something so rare and so historic and grandiose in its destruction. The scars prove that in one moment everything could monumentally change. Everything: How we live, how we travel, our sense of security, how we view the world, how we view America, how we view each other. I find the video above captures this shift, from Diane Sawyer’s cheery good morning before the first plane hits, to the solemn farewell at the end.
I promise more treats coming soon, very soon. This upcoming week will be a weird one for me, working hard on my book while going back and forth to the hospital and doctors’ offices dealing with what I hope isn’t a downward turn for my health. But I’ve been working on some things for Celebrations, and will share them shortly! As well as some sneak peeks of the new book.
Feel free to share your own memories or important links of September 11 below. Like that day in the cookie store talking and talking with my co-workers as a way to connect and cope…
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