It’s been 9 years. I don’t have anything special I want to say to commemorate today or the lives lost. I just need to write.
It’s been two months since I’ve been on here; I had to try a few different passwords to log-in.
I’ve written since then, mostly about my grandmother and our time together this summer, but I haven’t felt ready to share it yet. This summer was difficult, but I wouldn’t have traded the time spent with her for anything, not a trip around the world, nor a cool internship, nor a high paying job, nothing. Someday, when I’m ready, I’ll tell you more about it.
But today is September 11th.
9 years ago, I was in 7th grade at Rye Country Day when a few teachers called us into a room and told us there had been an accident downtown and if our parents worked there, we should call home to make sure they were okay. We all lined up, each one of us taking our turn at the telephone before returning to class. I didn’t hear if my dad was okay until that afternoon. When he arrived, he was covered in smokey ash, and I remember the phones ringing late into the evening as people called to check on us.
A lot happened in those days after the towers fell. Missing people posters went up, memorial services were held, and candles lighted. I don’t remember a lot from those days.
Once, I found Sophia, two or three at the time, looking at a magazine. She pointed to something on the page and said, “bird.” She moved her finger over and repeated, “bird.” I glanced over. There were no birds, only people jumping out the windows and falling through the sky. “Birdies!” she sang.
I left Sophia crying on the bed (for I had scared her by snatching the magazine forcefully away), and stormed off to find my mother. I was furious with her for leaving something so hurtful where my little sister could find it. I didn’t know then how impossible it is to protect children, no matter how young or innocent, from the pain of violence in this world as it is now.
When I remember September 11th, I no longer think only of my friends who lost loved ones, but of how the world has changed since that scary day. War used to be so foreign to me! War was an evil game that happened far away in time or in place. But we’ve been fighting ever since, haven’t we? I want the fighting to stop! We have important things to discuss, like the health of our planet. We are eating and breathing and drinking toxins and destroying the earth which gives us life. But we are spending our time quarreling over whether or not an Islamic community center should be built a few blocks from where the towers used to stand. Build the center! Please! Now, maybe even more than when the towers used to stand 10 years ago, we need the center. If we are to survive as a species on this planet (and I’m not convinced this is actually as important as I’m making it sound), we must come together to learn from and about each other. Only then can we truly know and LOVE each other, and only then will we be free from terrorism, and the prejudices that prevent us from becoming all that we can be.0