Sep 11, 2009

Unexpected Remembrance

Something odd struck me this morning. On the ride into work the radio jockeys were all talking about 9/11 and it really didn’t faze me. Largely because the stories are all the same: each person telling where they were and what they were doing. The thing they most had in common was that they were so distantly removed that it feels like they are simply trying to one up everyone else’s story. Perhaps that’s just my cynical nature though.

The guards outside our office were working in the rain, setting the flags to half-mast. I stopped out of respect as they raised them then went inside, again largely unfazed.

My boss and coworker were briefly talking about their respective “where I was” and I nodded and put on my headset to settle down to work.

It was something simple and unexpected that struck home. One of the reports each I run each morning has the full report date printed on the page. It has 9 report dates spelled out: “September 11, 2009.” Then all of the memories of that day and week come rushing back.

I’m not going into my personal memories of where I was and what I did, because as I mentioned I think it’s largely one-up-manship. It’s best that we find our own ways or remembering, honoring, mourning, or even just surviving.

There is one thing that I do remember and I always will. I vividly remember five days later, after much of the initial turmoil had settled and new discoveries and rumblings were just beginning. I remember sitting listening to the radio; all ears in the room listening to President Bush address the nation. I remember looking around that nursery at Abington Memorial Hospital, to the nurses attending other newborns infants while still intently listening to his words. I remember my wife sitting in the rocking chair nursing our fussy little newborn.  I had a son. I had a family. In that moment, I felt incredibly grateful to have been largely unaffected by the tragedies of 9/11.  That feeling is what came back to me once again in reading “September 11, 2009.” We were alive and we were well. And in the larger scope of things, that’s all that really mattered.