Like so many others, I have spent a lot of today thinking about the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I can't believe it has already been ten years.
I remember waking up in our little first apartment in Seattle, WA to the phone ringing. My husband of only one year answering it and hearing his sister on the other end crying and telling us to turn on the news. And her telling us that she had talked to her father who was in the Navy and he sounded scared in a way that she had never heard him before.
I remember turning on our news and only turning it off to go to school and to sleep for the next few days. I remember feeling like I couldn't miss anything. Not one single story. I remember watching, in complete shock and horror as the second plane hit, and again when the towers collapsed, all live on national television. I remember being comforted by the familiar news anchors of my childhood, especially by Peter Jennings (here is a news clip that shows him reporting on that day) . I remember wanting to do something, anything to help, but New York feeling so far away from Seattle. I remember strangely eerie quiet skies; we lived fairly close to an airport and to not hear planes flying overhead felt really unsettling. I remember feeling guilty in the weeks and months to follow, for moving on with my life when so many had lost so much.
The past ten years have brought about so many changes in my life. We have traveled, moved, and most significant of all, had our two sweet children. I feel like being a mother has changed my perspective of the events of 9/11 the most of all. I feel so protective of my children- of their lives, safety, and health, but also of their hearts. Part of me wants to shield them from what happened that day, to hide their eyes and cover their ears from the pictures and stories. But then I remember that it is only in sharing history, sharing the stories of the past, that we can learn from them, and my children can grow up to be loving, caring people and citizens of our world.
My children are only (almost) six and four, so I am not going to be showing them any graphic news clippings from that day. But I think that a good place to start is just telling them my story. Where I was on that fateful day and how it made me feel. And above all else, in spite of how people treat us and what happens in the world, God is always faithful and He is always good.
Where were you on that day?
P.S. I recently came across an really amazing tribute (via the blog Tiny Twig) created by TIME magazine that shares some of the stories from 9/11 . Being a photographer and a story-teller myself, I have really loved being able to put faces and voices to some of the stories from that day. Find the portraits and audio recordings of Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience HERE.