The clarity with which the mind can render a memory, especially a memory of an emotionally powerful event, is pretty staggering. This is where we get the “do you remember where you were when…” question and we can often recall with crystal clarity where we were and what we were doing.
Today is the 11th anniversary of the day terrorists attacked, and brought down, the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I remember it so clearly it still feels like it happened yesterday.
My wife had already left for work. I was getting ready to leave for work. I was watching Good Morning America on ABC while I was ironing my shirt. When I had turned on the TV the first plane had already hit but the details at the time were pretty sketchy. They were showing smoke pouring out of one of the towers and the assumption was that there had been a terrible accident. A bit later those ideas were shattered when a second plane, clearly a large one, flew into the other tower on live TV.
At that point it was clear that I wasn’t going to work. I called in and most people had already called in. Those that hadn’t were glued to the TV there. In the hours that followed we all watched with horror as both towers fell and more reports of other planes followed.
I am thankful that nobody I knew died during the attack or in the aftermath. I hope we never have to experience something like that ( or worse ) again. The US became such a different place in the weeks ( and years ) that followed. I remember feeling a sense of loss and depression for weeks afterwards. It was definitely a moment in time in which to question our existence and wonder what the point of it all was if people could still be doing such ghastly things to one another.