I wrote the post below back in 2007. Today’s crisp weather and beautiful skies remind me again of the gorgeous backdrop over which the horror of September 11, 2001 played out. In 2001 I avoided coverage of the event while at home to shield my kids from those images. Now, I realize that they have no memory of the attack and no memory of a world where people flying jetliners in to buildings was inconceivable. I wish I could have shielded them from that second experience as well, but I remain ever thankful that they’ve spent the last ten years with their dad and not as children of “September 10.”
This morning the first hints of fall wafted into Suburbia on a cool breeze that hasn’t shown it’s face around here for months. And after several days of gray skies and intermittent showers, today brought an absolutely gorgeous bright blue sky complete with a few perfect, wispy white clouds.
In the usual morning hurry, I almost forgot that today was September 11th. Those bright blue skies should have immediately reminded me. It was a beautiful autumn day in New York on September 11, 2001, when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Those horrific scenes are etched into my mind, all backed by bright, clear blue skies.
My friend over at The Testosterone Zone asked readers to respond to her post asking where we were on that day and how the events had affected our lives. If anything, I believe that the events of 9/11 have made me more likely to appreciate the people in my life and to not focus as much on the little things that can make day to day life stressful. And the reason for that impact actually began on September 10, 2001.
That’s the date that, early in the morning, Adventure Guy boarded a plane in Boston and flew to San Francisco. At the time he was working for a telecom company that had its headquarters outside of Boston and its research labs in the Oakland area. He travelled most of the week and was in so many different places, I often didn’t know his exact location from day to day. He was always available by cell phone, so the details didn’t seem so important.
But one detail I will remain ever thankful for is the fact that late on the evening of September 10, Adventure Guy called to tell me that he had made it in safely to San Francisco. Otherwise, I would have been absolutely panic-stricken when I realized what was happening the next morning, when the news came out that the terrorists were clearly targeting cross-country flights for the hijackings.
That morning, I was in the office preparing to go to a local conference. I stepped into the hall on my way out, and our custodian told me that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. I didn’t initially think of it as an attack, but rather thought it was an accident, perhaps a small plane that was offtrack in the New York airspace. I went next door to the Guidance Office where there was a television and watched the developing events in horror. We were watching as the second plane hit.
I’ll admit that I was so glued to the television and so secure in the fact that Adventure Guy was already in California, that I didn’t think to call him. His vivid memory of that day involves being extremely annoyed at his phone ringing at a little after 6:00 a.m. only to answer it and be told by a good friend, “Thank God you’re alive.”
And every day since then, I’ve tried to remember just how easily our little family here in Suburbia could have lost him. 24 hours made all the difference for us. And each time I read the tributes and the remembrances for those lost that day, I think of their wives and husbands, parents and children who weren’t so lucky. And I am always thankful, truly thankful, not see Adventure Guy there among them.