Remembering 9/11: I Won’t Forget
I won’t forget.
13 years, a marriage, two apartments, two houses, and two kids later, and I won’t forget.
I won’t forget sitting at my newly acquired desk, a brand new editorial assistant fresh out of college and only two months into my chosen career.
I won’t forget hearing that news. A plane had hit the World Trade Center. Murmurings began and within moments several of us were huddled into one small cubicle watching the news coverage, wondering how such an accident was possible. Then the second plane hit, and we knew; it wasn’t an accident, it was an attack.
I won’t forget my thoughts immediately turning to my loved ones scattered across the country. Where are they? Are they accounted for? My soon to be husband was traveling in Alabama for his own new job and I quickly received word that he was OK. My father, a government employee who often works in Washington D.C., was on vacation in Florida with my mom. I woke him up with my frantic call, making sure he was indeed far away from the capital. My future in-laws were vacationing as well, out west, and I confirmed that they were also safe.
I won’t forget my relief, and I won’t forget my simultaneous heartache for those making the same phone calls, desperately looking for their own loved ones and receiving no news.
I won’t forget my drive that day, back to the apartment that my fiancé and I had just moved into, and seeing the lit up signs along the PA Turnpike steering commuters away from NYC. I won’t forget my realization that I was over 600 miles away from the place I still called home, and how very close I now was to “the disaster.”
I won’t forget walking into the scantily furnished living room with my microwaved leftover pizza dinner, sitting down on the mauve plaid hand me down couch and feeling so very alone in my continuous stunned state. I was truly on my own for the first time in my life. The moment that first plane hit those towers, life changed for everyone. Me? I became an adult.
I won’t forget the immense sorrow and immense patriotism that overtook our country in the days that followed. Flags were everywhere. I attached one to my own car and went through the motions of my new working girl reality as I waited for my fiancé to return. Flying was not an option and rental cars were sparse, so his return took several days. I won’t forget the constant reminder that he was coming back to me while so many others’ loved ones would never return.
I won’t forget all of this and so much more, and am reminded as I drive my daughter to preschool this morning. The local radio station goes silent in remembrance, and I pull over to quietly honor the ones we lost. And I hear my daughter’s tiny voice from the back of the minivan, singing… “Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore…”
I will let it go, but I will never forget.