Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11/2001

Lots of people are remembering the events of 9/11/2001 today. Although I was here on the west coast, and did not personally know any of the victims or their families, I will always remember and hold those affected in my thoughts today.

I was in the hospital holding my 1-day-old son. I got a call from my step-dad about it: "America is under attack!" I turned on the TV and saw the footage of the tower on fire. They were interviewing people who were talking about running down the street, and a woman carrying a baby tripped and fell, and how people stopped to shield the baby from being trampled...and I had to turn it off. (I kept off the TV and radio after that point, although later on I did read more about what happened, but I couldn't bear to follow the story so soon postpartum.)

A couple of days later, on the morning we were scheduled to leave, our hospital had a bomb threat. Fortunately it turned out to be a hoax, but it felt terrifyingly real. Especially to my husband, who was caught outside and managed to get back in to be with us. (He was carrying some of our stuff to the car, and when he found out what was going on, he dropped everything on the sidewalk and started frantically looking for a way back inside.) I remember how brave the hospital staff was, going about their duties, trying to stay calm and not upset the patients, all the while wondering if they were going to be the next terrorism victims. I remember my mom calling to see how we were doing, and my lying to her: Oh, everything is fine, but we're kind of busy getting ready to check out, and would she mind if we called her later? (Yes, I did 'fess up and apologize when we got home safely.)

So while we were not directly impacted by the tragedy, no one who lived through that time could be totally unscathed. I feel horrible for those who died and their families, and for the others who are still suffering. And this may be selfish, but I can't help but also feel a bit sad for my son, too. He's too young to understand it yet, but when he is, I'm sure that his birthday will always be shadowed to some degree by what happened the day after he was born.


Vickie said...

I can't imagine watching all that after just having a baby. You were very smart to just turn it off. And I also didn't think about your son's birthday. Is it the 10th or the 11th itself- ?

Oklahoma City bothered me much more than 9/11. I supposed because it was the 'first' and because of the daycare center being so hard hit. I think that I built a layer of tough skin over that one. Because I was able to watch parts of 9/11 without letting it sink me or paralyze me. I think that you are right - that date is always going to impact us all pretty hard.

debby said...

What a well-written post. And what a dramatic way to remember the event.