I almost forgot it was Sept. 11th, until I read Lou's post about momentous events in American history, and how they become part of our personal histories as well. However, when I think back to that day in 2001, the impressions are as fresh as ever. As usual, I got up and put on the radio. I just caught the end of a report on NPR about one of the towers, and I said to myself that my hearing must have gotten worse again. What I thought I heard could not have been true.
I am among those few Americans who did not turn on the T.V. at that point, to watch the clip that would be repeated and repeated, compulsively for what seemed like days and weeks: the planes crashing into the towers, the towers imploding, falling in slow motion like those hotels in Atlantic City under the wrecking ball I had once watched, standing on the beach with a sadness for my own lost years as well as for the impending changes that would ensue when the casinos were built as they eventually were. This was a different kind of shock and sadness, the feeling that we were vulnerable in ways I could not have believed or even imagined an hour before. The people fleeing from the towers, leaping from the windows, standing pointing up in awe near the site were all feeling exactly as I was, as everyone in the country did, sighing a collective sigh of disbelief.