Before September 11th became 9/11/01 or "September 11th" it was just an ordinary day. It was a day when babies were born, when toddlers took their first steps and when loved ones took their last breaths.
I vividly remember September 11, 2001. It was a perfect fall morning in Washington, DC. Not too hot, not too cold and the sun was shining. At the time, I was living in Arlington, VA, just off Columbia Pike, walking distance from the Pentagon. I was working in downtown Washington DC, across the street from the White House and if running late for work (as I usually was) would cut through the parking lot at the Pentagon. On September 11, 2001, I was up early with the dogs, got my workout in and headed to work - early for a change. I remember hearing on the car radio the horrors in NY and my goal was to get to the office and call family and friends to make sure loved ones were safe. I grew up in NJ and knew many people living and working in NYC. The World Trade Center was a place that we would visit on school and church trips. Enjoying time on the observation deck. Shortly after I hung up the phone that morning, the building where I worked was evacuated. I remember calling a co-worker to let him know not to come in and he told me of the explosion and ground shaking he felt in Arlington, and the rest, as they say is history. This is a history that I pray never repeats itself for our Nation. It is a history that I pray my children and my grandchildren never have to experience first hand. Recently, there was a clip on the news of one of the planes hitting the towers, my son innocently asked if that was a commercial for a new action movie. I had hoped to wait until he was a little older, to shelter him a little longer from the evil and ugliness of our world.
Tuesday will mark the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks. May we never forget the extraordinary heroics of our first responders and emergency personnel. May we always remember those who lost their lives on that day.
For my children, I will try to make this Tuesday an ordinary day. We will keep the TVs off, we will go to school, we will bake cupcakes for a friend's birthday, we will say a prayer for the loved ones we have lost.