The day the Twin Towers fell, I was outside weeding. My husband was watching the morning news with our three children, who were then ages 4, 3, and 6 months. He called me in to see the television. I didn’t understand what I was seeing. I went back outside in a daze wondering if it was the end of the world.
The birds in the protected land adjacent to our property went crazy, like a large bird of prey was after them. The locusts in the trees were deafening for days.
My eldest daughter at age 4 saw the news and was obsessed with the images of those towers . For months she would not stop building them from legos and drawing them. We told her they were bad men and she wanted to know why they were bad. We didn’t have a good answer for her.
My dad lost his friend John Griffin. Together they used to work overseeing the installation of air conditioning units, elevator cabs, and other major items that go into skyscrapers. I remember spending a weekend at the Griffins’ weekend getaway. They had kids my age. My dad used to have lunch with John at Windows on the World and would still have been going to the World Trade Center every day if he did not have to go on disability with multiple sclerosis. He held onto hope for weeks that John would be found alive under the rubble. “He knew those buildings like the back of his hand”, he said, “He will find his way around down there.” He was never found.
What loss, what horror we all experienced that day. And still it goes on. As the years pass by, the death toll rises. As the cleanup and rebuilding continues, construction men have been injured, emergency workers have been sickened, and firemen were killed by a crumbling building that was damaged that day.
I also remember the uplifting sight of American flags that were flown from people’s homes in the immediate aftermath. People went around with kinder, gentler looks on their faces. They remembered their manners in public places and greeted strangers with courtesy.
People remembered to kiss their loved ones goodbye in the morning because you just never know.
Please keep the remembrances going because we can’t ever forget.