Stuck in a moment

by statia on September 11, 2003

Like many others, I’m not really sure how to observe today. Two whole years have gone by since 9/11. This is unfathomable to me. So much has happened both in the world and in my life in the last two years. In a way, moving on, is a good thing. Trying to revisit the past may open up old wounds, making the healing process longer, but on the same note, so many people were lost, that you sort of feel like you need to remember them. Remembering them, helps you put into perspective what you have today, and how they died from the result of something so horrific. I think of all the people that lost loved ones, and try to put myself in their shoes, and it’s almost impossible. I sat along with so many others watching the entire day unfold like a bad nightmare. For the first time I was old enough to have it affect me in such a way that no other tragedy had before. Like everyone, I’ll never forget that day. It’s permanently etched in my mind. However, I still couldn’t even come close to the feelings of the people who had been there, or the people that had to listen to their loved ones last words on a voice mail, or worse, not knowing their wherabouts for days, until finally, they had to come to the realization that they were gone, forever.

A former boss of mine, who I’m still friends with, was actually in the city that day for a meeting, four blocks from the World Trade Center. He watched the whole thing unfold. For months, he couldn’t, and wouldn’t talk about it. When I finally got him to talk about it, I think he made some sort of peace with himself and thanked me for helping him to move on, and to feel better.

Six months post 9/11, I made my first trip to Manhattan since that day. Part of my healing process was going to the site. Which, held a lot of controversy for those that saw the whole thing happen. It was making a tourist attraction out of something horrible. To a certain degree I agree with them, because there were a lot of people there, taking pictures next to memorials, smiling like Clark Griswold as a French tourist, and that angered me. I went, I took it all in. I cried, but I felt like I could finally start to let go of my anger and hurt, and all of the pent up emotions that I had had.

So two years. At this point, I’ve made my peace with most of it. There are some things that I’ll never be able to let go. I still can’t look at pictures to this day without choking up. I can’t watch the footage of it on tv without getting chills, and you know what I don’t know that I ever want that to change. Not because I want to hang on to the past, but because I never want to forget what happened, and I don’t want to lose perspective of why you really should live each day to the fullest. Yeah, I think that’s how I’m going to observe today. I’ll be happy for what I have.

We’re all dealing with this differently today. You can read many more stories over at Michele’s project: Voices


A Small Victory September 11, 2003 at 9:28 am

two years later

FDNY: On September 11th, Our World Stops New York City Bravest Scholarship Fund FDNY Tribute 2,792 189 45 The Falling Man…

Annessa September 11, 2003 at 9:30 am

Beautiful post. And you’re right, we need to be happy for what we have.

I’m glad I have your friendship. Coochie.

jim September 11, 2003 at 9:51 am

It is good to look back, not so much to relive, but to instill the importance of the present. We realize that life is comprised of moments. Embrace each and make it special. You get lots of opportunities, but maybe you don’t.

I worked across the street at 130 Liberty…I can still remember watching the second plane fly overhead.

Jonathan September 11, 2003 at 11:16 am

Beautiful post.

jason September 11, 2003 at 11:40 am

Days like today make you realize that despite all the shit that might be going on your life, you are lucky. If you have your life, and your health, and friends, you are lucky. I feel like I’m very unlucky a lot of the time, but I remember back to seeing that plane hit the tower (I was a few blocks away) and I realize that I am lucky.

PDawg September 11, 2003 at 6:40 pm

You know, I was totally at an impasse today, as well, as far as what to do at work.

I am an English teacher at the largest urban high school in Berks county. Many of my students have family and relatives in NYC. Many of them lost someone in the Towers two years ago.

Last year, I had students use the class period to write. Whatever they wanted, it was ok. I called it a “reflection” essay. They appreciated that opportunity. Many of them were having a hard time reconciling their emotions. After all, the kids who are in high school right now can’t even remember the Gulf War–they had never experienced anything remotely close to what happened two years ago. (Not that I have either at 29 years old, but I can remember the Gulf War, at least).

So, today, I toyed with the idea of a journal entry–a smaller version of last year’s assignment. I eventually decided against it. There was a brief, yet fitting, memorial on TV during our morning announcements (we have a student-run TV studio at school), and I thought that was enough. My concern was that the kids would forget. (They certainly forget everything I teach them…) However, it was obvious that they have not. They memorial on the TV sparked some discussion, and some memories.

They haven’t forgotten. They have simply found–as we all are finding in our own ways–a sense of closure. These kids have amazing resiliance, and I learn from them every day.

Anna September 15, 2003 at 4:17 pm

I couldn’t post anything about 9/11 on my blog. I’m always going to remember where I was the day the planes hit. My mom remembers where she was the day JFK was shot. My grandfather remembers where he was the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. I don’t think you can forget something that devistating to a nation. I agree that Ground Zero is a “tourist attraction” now, but so is Pearl Harbor, the book depository, and the mall. Eventually a movie will be made about that day. I’m a firm believer in remembering without dwelling. I’ve made my peace with it. I still think about it occacsionally. I don’t think anyone could have said what you said any more eloquently. I’m glad that there are people out there who can observe the day without making sure the rest of the world does too. I loved what you had to say (:

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