It is selfish, perhaps, to not want to think about 9/11 on its anniversary.
Although 10 years later, there are probably two distinct groups: the people who live through it every day–the widows, orphans, witnesses, air traffic controllers–and the people who think about it from time to time, on the anniversary or when a September day is especially beautiful, mild and cloudless. (From 2002, I always hoped for rain on 11th.)
AskMoxie’s post, which quotes Fred Rogers’ dictum to “look for the helpers,” gives me chills. Because I realize that if my husband had been working at the World Trade Center, instead of safely tucked away at his office in Connecticut, he probably would have died. He is a trained EMT and an instinctive do-gooder. I used to tease him, not so nicely, about it, but really I am proud. He gives directions to strangers, holds crying babies, and will go out of his way to help friends and acquaintences.
He would have helped. He would have helped other people to live.
By the time he got home from Connecticut, around noon on 9/11/01, the neighborhood ambulances from his volunteer corps were gone to the site, to Ground Zero, and he was frustrated that he could only be a bystander instead of a helper.
If he had died, I would not have this life. I would not have these children. So I have a hard time thinking about it.
I still cannot wrap my head around what happened, that other people, acting out of political “need” or murderous rage, would have the temerity to take the lives of other human beings on such an enormous scale.
I feel that I should explain what happened to my children, but I know that the first thing out of AM’s mouth would be “Why did people fly planes into a building?” How can I answer that? There is no reason that satisfies. They are still young. Being “bad” means lying about brushing your teeth or hitting someone unprovoked. The hugeness of what happened? If I can’t understand, how can they?
(For more coherent thoughts for this day, please hop over to Baila’s post.)