As a child, I remember hearing stories about “unforgettable moments in life”. My mom told me about how events happen that are so memorable, they live with you forever. Time freezes. Her example was the assassination of JFK. My mom told me about when she and her friends learned of his death, time froze. Everyone who lived through that remembers where they were the moment they heard he was killed.
John Lennon’s death, The Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion, Jim Morrison’s death. All were unforgettable moments in time.
As a little girl, I wondered when my unforgettable moment would come.
9/11, turned out to be THAT moment for me.
Standing in my pajamas in my NYC apartment that morning, when all hell broke loose… well, that became MY unforgettable moment. There are no words to adequately explain the terror I felt when I realized that my city, the city where I lived, where I loved, where I grew into a woman, had been attacked. The earthquake I felt when the towers tumbled…
In the end, we survived. Some friends didn’t, but we did. The images though, were so tough. Neighbors and friends whose husbands didn’t come home, friends whose waited at Ground Zero for weeks to find traces of their loved ones… those moments haunt me to this day. The burnt smell in the air for days, while we were locked-down and not able to leave the city. The fighter jets that patrolled the city for days after. The supermarkets with barren shelves. Those days are frozen in my mind.
So much sadness, disbelief, and many, many questions. I was a part of that city and I survived, so why didn’t all those innocent people? It was a rough time, trying to maneuver the complex emotions and feelings of guilt, remorse, dismay.
15 Years Later…
I thought that day was one day. But it wasn’t. It’s a never-ending day. It’s always there reminding me of how vulnerable we all are. How precious life is.
And each and every year, I am transported back to the absolute terror I felt when I realized those planes had hit the towers, INTENTIONALLY.
I didn’t know it right away, but over time I realized that that day was my huge, unforgettable moment. Life changed for me in a blink of an eye that day. My security, my innocence, were gone forever.
And just like my mom told me I would… I discovered the moment that will be frozen in my mind forever.
9/11 is and always will be MY unforgettable moment.