9/11/01: I woke up early on a glorious day in my Manhattan apartment.
9/11/12: I woke up earlier than usual to the sound of my daughter through the baby monitor.
9/11/01: I went downtown for a job interview that was cut short when the first plane hit the Trade Center.
9/11/12: I went downstairs for breakfast after getting my daughter dressed and watched “The Today Show.”
9/11/01: I took surface transportation back to my apartment where my mom was waiting for me since she was in the City for the day.
9/11/12: I took my daughter back upstairs to get ready for our day.
9/11/01: I watched NBC with my mom. We were glued to the TV set in horror as we watched the Towers burn. We felt as though the world was falling apart around us once we heard the Pentagon was hit and government buildings were being evacuated.
9/11/12: I was dismayed with the poor coverage “The Today Show” was giving the September 11th anniversary. I flipped to CNN, which was covering the memorials. I turned to MSNBC, where I stayed, since they were re-broadcasting the coverage from the morning of 9/11/12. This is when my past met my present. Never in the past 11 years have I watched the media footage of that morning minute by minute in synch with the present day’s time. It was eerie.
9/11/01: I watched the first Tower fall down in horror on TV. My mom and I begged my father to leave his office to come uptown. But he wouldn’t leave until much later that day. When we were all together again, we hugged for a long time.
9/11/12: I watched the first Tower fall down with the same horror I felt 11 years ago. Tears fell from my eyes. I was sobbing audibly. My daughter laughed. She has rarely seen me cry and must’ve thought I was laughing (despite the tears falling from my eyes). I pulled her close to me and hugged her. “When you get older, Isabelle, you will understand why mommy is crying. Today is a sad day.” She stopped laughing and allowed me to hold her tightly in my arms, stroking her soft curls.
9/11/01: As the news of the day unfolded, I remember thinking, “Who would want to bring a child into this world?” I loved kids, but I couldn’t imagine myself having one when it seemed as though the whole world was coming apart.
9/11/12: As I watched the news coverage from 2001 on MSNBC, I applied sunscreen to my daughter since my plans for the day changed. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful September day with our friends and therefore we decided to meet at a local park. As I smoothed sunscreen on her skin, I recalled my thought from 2001. “Who would want to bring a child into this world?” I am so glad my perspective changed since 2001. Our world is fraught with danger and uncertainty. However, the biggest thing I learned from September 11th, 2001 is that you have to go on living.
9/11/01: I vowed that I would never forget.
9/11/12: I will never forget that beautiful September morning in 2001 when the biggest news of the day should’ve been the mayoral primary in NYC. That changed so drastically. Eleven years seems far away, but watching the minute-by-minute coverage on MSNBC brought it right back. I don’t know how I will approach September 11th with my daughter when she comes of age to talk to her about it. But I know I will talk to her about it in a way that will attempt to help her understand the importance of the day without making her completely fearful. No matter what I do September 11th 2001 will always be history, like Pearl Harbor and D-Day are to me. Perhaps the greater task is one that I engage in daily. One of my greatest jobs as a parent will be to make sure she lives her life in a way that will make this world, or at least our corner of it, a better place.