Eleven years ago I was on my way to work when I heard the news.
I was excited because it was my birthday. I knew my co-workers would have cake for me.
I don't remember celebrating at all that day. I'm sure we ate the cake, but I don't remember it. I just remember standing around, listening to the radio, watching the television, scanning the Internet for any news we could find.
About what was happening in NYC.
And in Washington.
And what might happen to us. I kept calling my husband, and he kept calling me. Checking in with each other. Checking up on each other.
I was in a grocery store this morning when a quiet voice came over the intercom. I didn't hear her at first. But then I heard her say "9/11" and I started listening. So did all the other people in the store.
Absolute, pure silence.
I think even the refrigeration was turned off. We all listened to what this clerk was saying, remembering and grieving for all those lives lost. Remembering that feeling of being united with each other, helping each other.
Crying for each other.
A co-worker told me about her mother-in-law's hometown on Long Island. Many from her town worked in the financial district. And in the Twin Towers. She said the real sadness came several weeks after the Towers collapsed. That's when people gave up hope that their loved ones would be found alive.
But the really sad part to me?
Their cars were still in the commuter lots. Visual reminders they weren't coming back.
My heart goes out to all those families still grieving. Still missing loved ones.
May God bless you all. And may God bless the USA.