Eight years later

Here’s what I remember about the 9/11 attacks: hearing the morning news on the radio as I woke out of the fog of sleep, then suddenly bolting out of bed to go turn on the TV.  I remember hearing that one of the planes was from Boston, and calling to make sure my brother-in-law, who was traveling there regularly for business, was not on that flight.   I remember going to school, and wondering what the hell I was going to say and do with my students; we were all utterly in shock.  “Why do they hate us so much?” one sophomore girl asked me.  I had no idea how to answer that.  Prior to that day, I’d had no clue that anyone did hate us that much.

Here’s what I don’t remember: I can’t remember if I actually saw the towers fall, or if that was only an image that I saw replayed later on.  It’s as if there is some little part of my memory that is dead.  I am guessing it’s because I don’t want to remember.

I just tried to watch some of the footage of the attacks, and eight years later, I can’t.  It still stuns me, that hatred, that loss of so many lives, so suddenly and so horribly.  And my heart goes out to the survivors, to the families and friends, to the rescue workers, to the New Yorkers who lived close enough to smell and taste the ash and who now live with the visceral memories of that day.  Most of all, though, I think of those who died.

It was comforting to come across this article, from Beliefnet columnist Rod Dreher, about the goodness and selfless generosity that people showed on that day of terror.  It’s very worth reading.  It makes me think of the line from St. Francis: Where there is hatred, let us sow love.

And peace.

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