Twelve years ago today we got a wake-up call. We knew our husbands/wives and sons/daughters had a job that put them in jeopardy. We also knew that we would never make them turn away from their passion.
When I married David I knew that I would be a mistress to his first love, the Fire Department. I envied him his passion for his job. I never really worried about him, although believe me he has given me reason!
Then 9/11 happened. We were engaged and although we are far from NYC he didn’t come home from the station for three days. His brother was deployed from here to go as part of the search and rescue.
I remember that night, looking at the footage and knowing that in a too short span of time we would forget our anguish of that moment. We wouldn’t forget, but we would not have the same camaraderie with strangers at that moment.
The moment when the Towers fell, the ground shook in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon burned.
And at that moment I swore I would never forget that I saw people dying on live TV. But I did. I promised to myself this would not be our Pearl Harbor, only celebrated by the Veterans and those directly affected. But we did.
We moved on with our lives. The footage no longer taking our breaths away or makes us hold a strangers hand in an elevator. We became more suspicious, less gracious. In our house, though, we have not forgotten.
I admit that is probably due to David’s job. I mean, we face 9/11 every day in some shape or form. He also joins every dangerous “team” he can. We know that he might not come home. But we distance ourselves from those thoughts.
So I too, do not have that same visceral feeling to the footage of 9/11. I don’t go to every observance in town anymore. Last year it was attended by less than 25 people. My daughter doesn’t even realize the significance of what happened that day. So it already has become her generation’s Pearl Harbor.
For that I am saddened. Not that I want to remain angry and hurt. Instead I would rather have that same feeling of we are in this world together. We won’t forget the sacrifices of those who ran into the building, who signed up for war, who lost their loved ones.
When I say never forget, it isn’t that our Country was attacked. I never want to forget those who were taken too soon and those left behind.
To the widows, widowers, parents and children of those directly affected by 9/11 I want you to know that I haven’t forgotten the most important victims of that day. And I apologize for only remembering you on the anniversary.