today is Tuesday, September 11, 2012. it is a beautiful, bright, sunny day. it is a morning reminiscent of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 (though not as warm). I was home that day, planning a trip downtown to explore my city as a tourist, maybe even go to the World Trade Center i told my husband as he headed out to catch the subway downtown to work.
he arrived at work in time to see the plane hit the building, then frantically tried to contact me to insure i had not followed through with my plan to “be a tourist” for the day. the rest of the day was about chaos, fear, horror and sorrow. about people walking home covered in debris, but glad to be alive. about fighter jets flying over the city. about friends and strangers staying at my apartment because they could not leave the city as there was no travel in or out. about the eerie silence and the smell in the air. and eventually, about a new vocabulary (ground zero, the pile, heroes), a new way of life (homeland security, war on terror), a new way of thinking (is it safe to travel on a plane, to be in a tall building, to travel abroad) and feeling (anxious, yet proud to be a New Yorker, distressed, sorrowful, afraid, unable to travel downtown even after it was reopened), and above all, about layers of loss.
but here, from notes that were going to be an article or poem, are my reflections of that day…
it was the perfect day. the sky was an endless sea of azure blue. the sun was the bright happy yellow of a child’s painting. the type of day you can’t help but look up at the sky to feel the warmth on your face. the silly forever promises of summer lingered in the air. the crowded city was inviting as the day began flawless and optimistic.
this day, so beautiful and serene, quietly juxtaposed beginnings and endings — as children with sun-streaked hair and bronzed skin tried to tame the remaining restlessness of summer as their mothers straightened their new school clothes and took the requisite first day of school picture.
for many children on their way to school on that picture perfect day looking up at the plane flying overhead changed everything. their innocence was stolen when that plane tore a hole into that tower and punctured that perfect sky with the bleak, black streak of sorrow.
because that day began so still, so timeless, so perfect it was destined to be etched in our memories. what we didn’t expect was that it would be forever etched in our souls.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET…