Sunday, September 11, 2011


How well I remember that day. My daughter and I were headed to the Jersey shore for a couple of days together before she left for college. It was eerily empty on the highway except for emergency vehicles headed north--to NYC. My husband had family in the city and it took too long to find out they were all okay.

Like everyone else, I watched in horror as the towers fell. Like everyone else, I was touched by the courage of those on flight 93.

As all the planes were grounded, my daughter and I made contingency plans for how we would get her out to California in time for the start of classes.

We talked about our lives, our hopes and dreams. Though I didn't tell her yet, I realized I could no longer put off making changes. Not when life could end with such breathtaking suddenness and horror.

And I watched in the months and years after 9/11 as our nation changed. Yes, with wars and new security measures but also in the way we dealt with each other. It was as if, afraid, we tried to cling to what would make us feel safe. In some ways it felt as if we forgot how to listen to one another with kindness and respect, understanding that no one has a lock on wisdom, that we can learn from those whose view of the world is different from our own.

I hope that this anniversary reunites us, reminds us that despite all our differences, we are one nation and it is in those differences that lies our strength.

I doubt I will ever forget the horror of seeing the towers fall, the smoke rising from the Pentagon, the courage it took for those passengers on flight 93 to fight back and stop the terrorists.

I hope what I will be able to remember following this anniversary is how our nation came together again, finally, 10 years later.