I was sitting at my desk at Enron. When you work on an open trade floor, there are always TVs streaming endless news reports. But there was a particularly terrible story being shared. I was shocked and deeply saddened to see the smoke rising from the building. It was a living nightmare. A plane had somehow lost control and hit that tower.
I called my father to ask him if he had seen the tragedy. As I shared what I was seeing, another plane appear on the screen. The floor had already been fixated on the live report showing the initial horrific crash, but silence instantly took hold only to be followed by a collective gasp as the second plane exploded into the adjacent tower.
I was so young and literally could not comprehend what had just happened. What was happening. I remember saying to my father, “Daddy! Another plane hit a second building! How in the world could that same accident happen again?” And he then put voice to the obvious reality that I had never imagined as a possibility. “Baby, that was no accident.”
Our country was under attack. Our people were under attack.
We went home almost immediately afterwards. I sat terrified in my apartment until every person I loved had confirmed that they were home, too. I watched the news reports in horror and cried and cried and cried. The fear was palpable and struck me and so many others at a deeply primal level.
It’s been 17 years, but I still feel such raw sadness at those memories. A dear friend lost her brother to that attack, and I always imagine how terrible it must be for her to have to see those stories and images played over and over again each year. Losing your family member is devastating at any point but having them stolen from you out of senseless hate is unimaginable.
I remember her every year. I remember him every year. I remember them every year. All of them. I won’t ever forget them, and I will always honor those who lost their lives trying to save them as well as those who continue to risk and give their lives to keep us safe today.
Cherish your days here, and recognize how immeasurably precious your time is. We must remember those who have gone before us and pray for those who give everything to allow us to live freely.
Those of us who lived through that day will heal, but we will never forget.
My prayers go out to all who are hurting. May you find peace and solace in your wounded hearts.
Much love to you all.