Patriot Day: Remembering 911

The first plane had already hit when the television flickered on in the bedroom. We were still sleepy-headed in California, made the coffee as usual and returned to the TV feeling nervous about our appointment.

I was already angry at the newsman for couching his politically correct language so carefully rather than confirming the obvious with a clenched fist. I already knew it was a terrorist act. Everyone knew.

Then the second plane hit. Got that numb feeling inside, the sort of disconnected feeling when your mind is unable to process quickly enough what the senses perceive. Took a shower and dressed more hurriedly, returning to the television with a hot cup of coffee.

Back on the television they said a plane hit the Pentagon. Retrieved the newspaper as a habit, not really intending to read it that day. Someone referenced Pearl Harbor on the news. There was that word Infamy, the one FDR explained to our parents 60 years ago.

My wife and I wondered about our appointment. She called to confirm that they were staying open. The newsman said a plane had crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania.

By the time we left the towers had both collapsed. They said that 20,000 people would die. I said a quiet prayer. We fed the cat and turned off the lights.

At the doctor’s office the air was thick with concern yet everyone was doing their job as Americans always do in crisis. The phones were ringing. Appointments were booked. The waiting room was full. People whispered about the news. Humans always reach out to one another for consolation. That is how we survive the bad days.

The morning of 911 my wife was artificially inseminated by a miracle procedure.

Sometimes I wonder if Hindus are right about the soul. I imagined the soul of a 911 victim entering our embryonic baby that day. We cannot know how God works His mysteries, but this thought helped reconcile the shock of that day.

We welcomed our 911 miracle baby with profound joy after waiting for so long. It seemed that God had smiled upon us while others grieved. We began to prepare for the new life in our home. We told everyone about our good luck.

Our baby miscarried 3-months later, our personal touch of loss and grief from 911.

Lives ended on 911 and we grieved as a nation. Each day since, more lives are lost which we grieve for as individuals and families. For us life continued its cycle of joys and pains. 911 was no different in this respect than any other day.

Please share your own 911 memories below.