Sunday, September 9, 2012

Always Remember

We live less than 40 miles from Manhattan.  As the crow flies, we are less than thirty miles from where the Twin Towers stood.  My mother grew up in New York City, and her family still lives there.  When I was a kid, driving to the city with my family, the Twin Towers, were a welcome sign from Manhattan.  More than the statue of liberty, which is technically on the Jersey side, the Twin Towers were the first thing you noticed as you made your way up the Turnpike to New York.

I will never forget that fateful day.  I will never forget how the sun shone the evening before, and we drove around in our brand new car, thinking life was grand (we had a healthy two year old, a new car, a new home and I was pregnant with our second child) and how it all changed the next morning.

Like most people, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news.

Like many people, I divide time up into "Before 9/11..." and "After 9/11...".

Our innocence was lost.

We had friends who worked in the city.  We knew people who worked in the Towers.  On that day, September 11, 2001, we could not get a phone line to call to see if our friends were alright.  We drove to my parents house and stayed together as a family, paralyzed, watching the TV screen for news.

On the days following, we called our friends.  We heard the stories of people who saw it happen, who ran from the rubble, who walked on foot with thousands of others, certain there would be more bombs and they would never make it home.

I work at the public library in our town.  There is a memorial outside of the library for the people from our town that were lost in The Twin Towers.  Every year, on September 11, their families gather, our mayor and other officials have a service, commemorating their lives and the events of that day.  Our family, and most families in town, usually attend.  Even though it was eleven years ago, there is something about that day that makes us want to gather with other people and hold hands.

I know I will cry that day.  I know I will not be able to not think about the events of eleven years ago.

My husband has a unique opportunity to be part of the World Trade Center Memorial in Lower Manhattan.  He has spent the last six years cultivating the trees for the Memorial site.  He continues to spend at least one day a week working with those trees.

The Trees from Scott Elliott on Vimeo.