01 October 2011

Sept 11, 2001 - A Decade Later

(this was originally written on the anniversary of 9/11)
It was 10 years ago already.
10 years since I phoned my frantic parents to tell them I was still alive and not to worry.
10 years since they told us our location was the next potential target & to prepare to evacuate. 
10 years since we walked to give blood, but there was no one to give it to. 
10 years since the streets flooded with ash, papers & people.  
10 years since the emergency siren went off and we grabbed our bags to head for the doors. 
10 years since I feared for my life. 

It is hard to imagine that it was a decade ago already. On each anniversary I have sat and listened to the names being read of all those who did not survive and thanked God for my name not being on that list.  It's frightening to think that the very next day, we were actually going to have lunch at the World Trade Centre.  It's ironic that of all the times I traveled for work, this was the only time I had given my parents my hotel contact information. 

It has been 10 years however there are things I cannot forget.  I will never forget the looks on the faces of people searching for their loved ones who were in the towers.  Handing you a paper with their picture on it, asking if you had seen them.  Searching for something in your eyes, a glimmer of hope that perhaps they had made it.  I will never forget the eerie feeling of walking the always crowed and vibrant streets of NYC that were now littered with military personnel and no people.  Being on a bus where half the occupants were covered in ash, in blood and in fear.  I will never forget the feeling of trying to sleep that night, worried that there were bombs or something worse that would blow up during the night.  The incessant sounds of the sirens.  Ten years later, I still shudder and freeze up when I hear sirens.  

I have a lot of thoughts on why this happened and who was to blame but that isn't the purpose of this post.  The purpose is to honour those that lost their lives, those that lost their loved ones and those who this date has impacted forever.  How or why it happened doesn't negate the fact that there were many heroes that day that ran up those stairs to save people or who charged the cockpit or who searched through the rubble to find missing souls.  It is a day that has changed our lives forever and that will hopefully remind us how precious life is despite the evil that is in our world.  

It's been a decade.  
10 years since we crossed by ferry to NJ & watched the towers smouldering still the next morning. 
10 years since we drove towards the Canadian border not knowing if we could cross. 
10 years since we all struggled with guilt for leaving and not doing more to help. 
10 years since I got home to my apartment and finally allowed myself to cry.  

It has been 10 years and yet, it still feels like yesterday.  I will never forget. 

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