…when the world changed?
Five years ago today my world changed. Not as completely or as terribly as someone who lost a loved one in the World Trade Center, but it changed nonetheless. My perception of the world shifted. Before 8:46am on 9/11/2001 I had believed the United States to be infallable and incapable of being attacked on our home turf. This became a glaringly naive belief a little after 9am when I got a call from my boss who was in Richmond, VA to tell me that a plane had hit the WTC. He told me to go to the upstairs apartment in our office building and watch the news so I could see what was going on. He knew that RR worked in the City from time to time so he wanted to be sure that #1 I knew what was going on and #2 that RR wasn’t in Manhattan that day.
I spent the rest of the day glued to the television, watching. That was all I could do. I felt helpless. Then I got angry.
Almost every generation has gone through an event such as this. Our Great-Great-Great Grandparents had the Civil War, our Great-Grandparents had WWI, our Grandparents had Pearl Harbor, our parents JFK. Each generation lost their innocence, their belief that their fellow man was reasonable and capable of dealing with their differences without violence. Each had an event that, when discussed, started with “Where were you when…?”
This has touched us all, and in so many ways. For some, it has irrevocably changed their lives. So many people were taken from us that day. They say that 1 in 5 knew someone who was in the towers. RR lost a few classmates who had gone on to be Policemen and Firefighters in the City. I am thankful that I did not know anyone personally who was lost, but it still hurts my heart to know how many people that lost a family member or a friend in the attack.
So, this is what I am asking you today, on this, the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Where were you when this generation lost its innocence? What were you doing that day? On your way to work? Working? Walking the dog? Doing the first load of laundry of the day? Feeding your children? Sitting down with your first cup of coffee? Sleeping? Walking through the streets of Manhattan? Watching the smoke? Trying to help?