G*d bless everyone. I will never forget 9/11, the day two planes, manned by terrorists, slammed into the WTC in New York.
I will never forget being awakened by my friend C, who called me to tell me about the attack. I will never forget watching the towers fall. I will never forget the image of a firefighter, utterly exhausted and overwhelmed with grief, covered with ash and soot, sitting on a bench in disbelief. I will never forget the image of all the people jumping from the WTC buildings, preferring a straight fall to earth–how hellish it must have been inside those buildings engulfed with flames.
I will never forget the raw and shocking feeling, like that of a warm blanket torn off my body in sleep, that we were not safe. I will never forget the stories of what happened inside those planes. I will never forget the courage and generosity of New Yorkers as they banded together after the attacks.
I will never forget how my job had me flying every week in the wake of the attacks–how empty the planes were, and then how chaotic and nonsensical the security processes were, until they became the processes you see and experience today.
I will never forget that just a few months earlier, my husband would have been on those flights that crashed into the World Trade Centers. He used to fly back and forth from New York every week on those flights, until he couldn’t take all that travel anymore.
I will never forget how people were able to call their loved ones on those planes. I will never forget how some people had to leave voicemail.
I still sleep with the phone when my husband is off on red eye flight, and I keep a phone on me at all times when he is up in the air. I don’t want to, just in case, miss his last call.