Sunday, September 11, 2011
the images of 9-11-01 that i saw in church last night and on the television all morning seem as fresh as if they happened yesterday. and yet, i'm certain that some of the elementary kids i work with have no idea that any of it happened at all...and probably whatever the middle school kids know is fuzzy and incomplete. they have no knowledge of how the tv coverage lasted for weeks - there was even a news special for children (remember that?), how every adjustable sign in indianapolis seemed to reflect some kind of 9-11 remembrance theme, how it felt different to greet my neighbors that evening, how lyrics in popular songs developed deeper meanings, how there was no celebrity gossip (or anything shallow, everything suddenly became solemn), how one day i stood in our school's courtyard and felt a chill when i looked up and thought about how there were no planes in the sky.
i was just a girl working in a school in indiana, with no personal connection to the events at all, though it was impossible not to be impacted. at that point in my life, i'd never been to new york city, but seemed like a magical place, like the epicenter of the universe. i'd bought street maps of manhattan earlier in the summer, and i studied them fervently - i couldn't wait to be there. (i did make it to the city the next year, and i loved it!) that tuesday morning was the first day of our statewide standardized (istep) testing. we were instructed not to tell the kids anything (though i wanted to), but every few minutes, we'd sneak down to an empty classroom and watch updates. a few years later, as a counseling intern, i listened to a student who had since relocated from new york to talk about her experiences, and the smell that still pervaded her thoughts.
watching it all again, hearing peter jennings' voice, even - it seemed like no time has passed at all. the memorial certainly is beautiful and moving, but nothing quite seems enough to capture the enormity of what happened.
one beautiful tribute is here.
peace to you today.