God grant that I can say the right words
I’ve been debating this for weeks now. Whether to mark this day
with my own words or not. Every time I caught a glimpse of today’s
date I would get a little uneasy in my seat, uncomfortable in my
own body. Maybe it was that I myself had forgotten. Maybe, it
was the uncertainty that still laid hold of my mind at times.
It’s a somber day. It’s a day of quiet reflection, as it should be
all Americans, for the whole world. I can never forget how naked I
felt that day, even in the midst of the strongest mountains of the
Rockies, I felt strangely exposed. The connections that held me to
each person that I knew were shattered; at once, I felt alone.
I couldn’t convince myself to drive down the canyon after work. I
couldn’t pull myself away from the news. My soul was numb; my
hands felt like they weren’t my own. I walked outside to the south
side of the resort. Looking up at the great mountains beside me, I
said a silent prayer for those who were lost. I called my mother
and heard her trembling voice as she kept saying “no, it’s not
possible”. My mother realized it, the world had changed.
I had to listen to my sister cry as I told her to turn the TV on. I
should have let her sleep. I wanted her to be a world away from me,
in a different time where she wouldn’t have to see the flames and
the blood. But she too, lived in this world on the morning of
September 11th, 2001.
I could hear Allie in the background, she was up, and she was
playing. My niece had no idea how the world was changing. All she
knew was she was safe; she had her mother there beside her to
take care of her. She was feeling what I wish I could. I believe
now, upon silent recollection, that it was my young niece that
me away from that scene. She was the thing that could bring me
back to the world I knew.
And I called my brother Adam, whose voice had always been one of
reason and calming for me in my life. As expected, nothing had
changed there, he could still comfort me but I could sense a strange
transition in his demeanor. I asked how his class was handling the
day, he said they were scared, confused, angry, all of the emotions
which we were all feeling in the aftermath of the attack on our
Slowly, I felt the connections to my family and friends come back to
me, I felt a little more whole. Maybe it was hearing their voices
that brought harmony to my soul. And as I sit here, one full year
I am thankful that I feel not only like myself again, but more of a
man than I was before that day. I was given the chance to grow
up in the world, not to let it shape me but to refine; I take the
greatest elements of what life is and incorporate them. I see how
the world has done just that, I see the attitudes of a million
Americans standing in solidarity, proclaiming with one voice,
“we will never forget”
And may God grant that we never will, one way or another.